Drumbeat: March 23, 2009

Oil trades around $54 on stock market rally

Oil prices briefly topped $54 a barrel Monday, getting a boost from stock investors who seemed hopeful a new plan to resolve the nation's banking crisis would spur economic growth. Better-than-expected housing news helped too.

Benchmark crude for May delivery rose $1.73 to settle at $53.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, continuing its upward momentum. Prices climbed as high as $54.05.

On Friday, oil ended the week above $50 a barrel for the first time this year, and prices have risen more than 30 percent this month.

NYMEX-Crude up sharply as stock markets rally

U.S. crude oil futures rose on Monday, jumping above $53 a barrel as Wall Street and global stock markets rallied on a U.S. plan to buy up so-called toxic assets to tidy up bank balance sheets.

The NYMEX May crude contract, now in front-month position, hit a 2009 intraday peak after seesawing at the start of the open outcry floor session in New York.

"The market held support on last dip, the stock market is supporting and products are firm again," said Tom Bentz, analyst at BNP Paribas Commodity Futures Inc in New York.

Welcome to Fuffland (Dmitry Orlov)

It may be clear to us that fuffles must be eradicated. But it is almost impossible for a society that has for so long and to such an extent put its faith in fuffles to part with the notion that they are valuable and accept the notion that they are a lot worse than worthless. And so they grow and grow, until they swallow up the entire country. At some point last year, in a vain effort to avert financial collapse, the Federal Reserve started accepting fuffles (which they called “troubled assets”) as collateral for fuffled rescue loans to insolvent financial institutions. Thus, the assets column of the Fed's balance sheet is now loaded with fuffles. And next, we have the US Treasury poised to create the next wave of fuffles. These are US Treasury securities, backed by whatever remains of the full faith and credit of the US Government, but destined to be sold not to investors (who have no taste for any more fuffles) but, in a truly incestuous move, to the same old Federal Reserve Bordello of Blood! They are calling this “quantitative easing.” A better term would be “qualitative fuffling:” the financial snake is finally eating its own tail. The Fed will place these fuffles on its balance sheet as assets, and in return issue prolific quantities of our new national currency: the US Fuffle. Like all fuffles, the US Fuffle will grow by leaps and bounds, by sprouting ever more denominations.

Peak Oil Review: Investment in Venezuela Tom Whipple

As exports slide, oil prices remain stagnant, and its economy falters, Caracas is searching for new investment to replace the US and European oil companies that were largely driven out two years ago. With cash short, Venezuela is holding up payments to contractors. Oil service companies are halting drilling for non-payment of bills and last week the Brazilian firm building the Caracas metro slowed work for non-payment. In addition to bills from contractors, the government is said to owe abut $10 billion to pay for firms it has nationalized in recent years.

President Chavez is pinning his economic hopes on increasing production from the Orinoco heavy oil deposits which the government says contains 272 billion barrels of oil. Last week Chavez announced a $6 billion dollar deal with a consortium of Russian firms to drill in the Orinoco basin. Caracas is also evaluating bids from two Chinese state oil companies for blocks in the Orinoco; holding talks with South Korea to help develop heavy oil and gas fields; and has signed an energy agreement with Japan. Caracas says four Japanese oil companies are considering investment in the Orinoco.

These agreements will take many years to produce results. Exploiting heavy oil fields is both technically challenging and expensive. Besides Beijing, only several of the international oil companies Chavez kicked out last year have much spare capital to investment in long term oil projects right now. Given the precarious state of the global economy and the increasing likelihood of political unrest, it is doubtful that much will come from all this activity.

PetroChina Xinjiang to boost oil storage by 60 pct

PetroChina's (601857.SS)(PTR.N) (0857.HK) Xinjiang Oilfield Corporation has started an expansion that would boost its crude oil storage capacity by 60 percent by August 2010, a newspaper run by parent CNPC reported on Monday.

The Xinjiang unit will add 450,000 cubic metres of crude oil tanks to its Wangjiagou oil storage facility in two years, with three tanks with 50,000 cubic metres of storage capacity each set to be ready for use by October 30 this year, the China Petroleum Daily said.

The other six tanks of the same size are scheduled to be operational by August 10, 2010.

The expansion would boost Xinjiang Oilfield's storage capacity to 1.2 million cubic metres (or 7.6 million barrels) and increase its ability to handle more crude oil produced in its own fields or imported from Kazakhstan, according to the report.

Scandal sullies Spain's clean energy

The arrest of 19 people accused of corruption highlights the dirty by-product of the country's booming economy in renewable fuel

While it was the construction boom that accompanied the wind turbines which led to the arrest of Pinilla and other officials alleged to have demanded backhanders, the renewable energies explosion was already leaving a footprint of sleaze elsewhere in Spain.

A judge in the Canary Islands last week accused a former industry department chief, Celso Perdomo, of making millions of euros by selling secret information on land about to be earmarked for the wind industry.

Inspectors are also busy looking at a sudden boom in solar farms, where subsidies assuring a 12% annual return on investment over 25 years sent Spain's notoriously corrupt real estate developers into a frenzy. . .

When Spain's National Commission for Energy decided to inspect 30 solar gardens, it found only 13 of them had been built properly and were actually dumping electricity into the network. After exceeding its solar energy target 10 times over, Spain has slashed subsidies for future projects.

Gulf economies seen slowing down

The Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates economies will narrowly avoid contracting in 2009 while Kuwait shrinks as the Gulf is dealt a double blow from oil output cuts and weak consumer demand, a Reuters poll showed.

Real economic growth in all Gulf oil exporters except Qatar is set to slow to about 2 per cent or less, marking an abrupt end to a boom that saw most Gulf economies expand 6 per cent or more in 2008, according to the poll of 14 economists and analysts.

Crunch forces govt to drop oil reserve target

DEVELOPMENTS in the oil and gas industry within and outside the country may have forced the Federal Government to jettison its earlier plan to raise the nation's oil reserve from the current level of 35 billion barrels to 40 billion barrels by 2010. . .

Lukman said: "Nigeria will also not invest as a producing country under the present situation. We will not invest. Why should we invest heavily when we have the capacity to produce three million barrels per day (mbpd) and having shut-in of about one million bpd? Why should we invest in more capacity and more reserves that we cannot produce? It does not make sense."

According to him, the downturn in oil prices now hovering around $40 and $50 per barrels, does not help in taking investment decision for future growth.

Reuters Summit - Economic Recovery May Rekindle Food/Fuel Debate

The steep drop in energy prices from last year's peaks has cooled the food-versus-fuel debate for the moment, but the battle may be rekindled by an eventual global economic recovery or energy price rebound.

The push to produce more biofuels like corn-based ethanol or biodiesel made from soybean oil or palm oil helped drive prices of raw food commodities to record highs last year, prompting double-digit food price inflation in some countries.

It also set off a debate over the morality of using food crops to make fuel while millions around the world go hungry.

Now, initiatives to expand the production and use of renewable fuels in the name of national security, domestic job growth or to combat climate change may further fan the controversy, according to several food and agriculture company executives and industry analysts speaking at the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit in Chicago and elsewhere.

Electric car from Nissan will be sold here in '10

Nissan is partnering with San Diego Gas & Electric to sell its new all-electric car here next year.

The automaker will show off a prototype of the car to people who manage fleets for large companies, universities and municipalities at the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego today, though the company insists the way it drives is more important than the way it looks.

“This is not a test and demonstration, but a true market introduction,” said Mark Perry, Nissan's director of product planning and strategy.

The five-passenger compact is expected to go 100 miles on a four-hour charge of its lithium-ion batteries, he said. . .

The utility's goal is to start with about 100 cars on the road for municipal, university and corporate fleets as a way of testing the viability of the electric car, said Bill Zobel, SDG&E's manager of clean transportation.

Nissan has similar partnerships in Oregon, Tennessee, Sonoma County and Tucson.

Cat Got Your Fish?

The use of wild fish in animal feed is a serious problem for the world’s food systems. Around a third of all wild fish caught are “reduced” into fish meal and fish oil. And yet most of the outrage about this is focused not on land-based animals like Coco [author's cat] but on other fish — namely farm-raised fish.

This is understandable. Ever since the Stanford economist Rosamond Naylor concluded in a 2000 paper in the journal Nature that it took three pounds of wild fish to provide enough food to grow one pound of farmed salmon, environmentalists have been apoplectic. They argue that the removal of wild “forage” fish threatens to starve whales, seals and other predators; that anchovies, mackerel and other “pelagic forage fish” should be used to feed humans; and that feed made from wild fish can give farm-raised fish higher levels of contaminants. As a result of all these issues, ocean preservationists have focused their ire on salmon farming. But in doing so they diverted attention from another problem of equal importance: the role played by those land-based creatures that also put their muzzles in the fish meal trough.

The pet food industry now uses about 10 percent of the global supply of forage fish. The swine industry consumes 24 percent of fish meal and oil — fish oil being considered the best way to wean piglets. Poultry meanwhile takes as much as 22 percent, which means that even when Coco ate chicken, indirectly he was still eating fish.

Full Commanding Denial (James Kunstler)

Everything that we're doing right now is engineered to avoid reality, to sustain the unsustainable, to recover the unrecoverable, when the mandate of reality compels us to face our losses in order to move on to the next chapter of a collective American life. The next chapter would be a society that runs on a much more local and modest scale, centered on essential activities like growing food, requiring harder physical work, and focused attention -- in other words, the opposite of a society lost in abstractions, long-range daisy chains of off-loaded responsibility, and incessant pleasure-seeking.

Oil nears $53 ahead of US toxic asset plan

Oil rose towards $53 a barrel today to the highest in almost four months, supported by a weak dollar, after the US gave details on its plan to remove toxic assets from bank balance sheets.

The French Nuclear Industry Is Bad Enough in France; Let's Not Expand It to the U.S.

Areva, France's nuclear industry, has a solid reputation, but a trail of radioactive waste and deaths in Africa follow its wake.

But France's monopolistic dependency on splitting the atom to turn on the lights has come with a huge price -- not only financially but in environmental and health costs. In reality, France is a radioactive mess, additionally burdened with an overwhelming amount of radioactive waste, much of which is simply dispersed into the surrounding environment. . .

France has 210 abandoned uranium mines. The leftover radioactive dirt -- known as tailings -- along with radioactively contaminated rocks, have been used in school playgrounds and ski-resort parking lots. Efforts to force Areva to clean up its mess have been met with resistance from the company. . .

Most of the uranium isn't "recycled" either. Ninety-five percent of the mass of spent French reactor fuel consists of uranium that is so contaminated with other fission products that it cannot be reused as reactor fuel at all (although France ships some of it to Russia). The vast majority of the uranium from reprocessing -- nonfissile uranium 238 -- cannot be recycled either and will need to be permanently secured. . .

As much as 100 million gallons of liquid radioactive waste a year is pumped from La Hague into the English Channel and has radioactively contaminated the seas as far as the Arctic Circle. These liquid wastes have been measured at 17 million times more radioactive than normal sea water according to an analysis by a French laboratory at the University of Breme.

Petrobras oil workers set to strike

Oil workers at state-controlled Brazilian energy giant Petrobras will strike for five days from Monday and attempt to cut crude output in protest over job cuts, pay and working conditions. . .

The union has often threatened industrial action in the past but later retreated after negotiations. But it did proceed with a stoppage last July which briefly reduced output.

Nigerian unions take to the streets

Nigerian oil unions held a rally in the capital Abuja today ahead of a meeting with government officials to try and avert a workers strike over security in the oil-producing Niger Delta, union leaders said. . .

The unions have threatened to strike several times in the past over insecurity in the delta, but have failed to follow through on their threats after government intervention.

The unions are demanding the government work for the release of all kidnapped workers in the southern delta, boost security and intelligence in the region and begin meaningful peace talks.

Venture Production Makes Commercial Gas Discovery at Carna

Venture Production has announced the results of the Carna gas exploration well (Venture operated -- 56% unitized interest) located in UKCS blocks 43/21b and 43/22c.

The Carna well (43/21b-5/5z) commenced drilling from the Ensco 92 drilling rig on December 26, 2008 and reached a total measured depth of 11,500 feet on March 4, 2009. The well was designed to test a Carboniferous fault block and a significant gas reservoir was discovered following a mechanical sidetrack carried out in January. . .

While Carna is a commercial gas discovery in its own right and is in line with pre-drill expectations of estimated net gas in place ranging from 95 to 185 billion cubic feet (Bcf), the confirmation of productive reservoir sands increases the attractiveness of five potential follow-on prospects in the surrounding Greater Carna Area. These other prospects, taken together, are expected to contain additional net gas in place ranging from 104 Bcf to 390 Bcf but, as yet, remain undrilled.

Commenting on the news, Mike Wagstaff, Chief Executive said, "This is another excellent drilling result and a fresh exploration success which opens up a new area of further prospectivity in a relatively underexplored part of the southern North Sea. We acquired the Carna license interest as part of our acquisition of WHAM Energy in 2007 and it is gratifying to see such a positive early result from that deal."

Industry's Big Hope for Small Cars Fades

Last summer, when gas cost $4 a gallon, buyers snapped up small cars so fast that dealers couldn't keep them in stock. Now, with gas prices half that level, almost 500,000 fuel-thrifty models are piled up unsold around the country.

The turnabout comes at a bad time for the struggling U.S. car industry, which has revamped factories and shifted product plans to produce more small cars in coming years. The moves are prompted by coming stricter federal fuel-economy standards and the Obama administration's car-bailout plan, which encourages auto makers to boost their vehicles' mileage.

Practically every small car in the market is stacked up at dealerships. At the end of February, Honda Motor Co. had 22,191 Fits on dealer lots -- enough to last 125 days at the current sales rate, according to Autodata Corp. In July, it had a nine-day supply, while the industry generally considers a 55- to 60-day supply healthy.

Suncor to Buy Oil Rival

Suncor Energy Inc. plans to acquire Petro-Canada for about $15 billion in stock, uniting two of Canada's biggest oil companies at a time of tepid world demand for crude.

A price of $15 billion represents a roughly 30% premium for Petro-Canada. Under terms of the deal, Petro-Canada shareholders are to get 1.28 shares of the newly combined company for each share of Petro-Canada. On completion of the transaction, Suncor's shareholders will own about 60% of the new company and Petro-Canada shareholders will own about 40%, Suncor said.

The all-stock deal would allow the companies to merge while conserving cash, a sign of the pressure some oil producers face amid the plunge in crude prices since last summer. The Canadian government, which could veto the deal, has signaled its support, according to people familiar with the matter.

Both Suncor and Petro-Canada are major players in oil-sands production, a type of exploration that generally involves mining tar-like sands and converting them to usable oil.

States Vie for Share of Clean-Coal Cash

The federal government is once again dangling billions of dollars for "clean coal" projects, sparking a high-stakes lobbying effort among different states trying to score some of the cash for local projects.

The recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act designates $3.4 billion in federal funding for investment in pioneering clean-coal technology, including power plants that would capture carbon dioxide so only small amounts are released to the atmosphere. . .

The funding comes on the heels of the FutureGen effort, which was stalled last year by then Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman when the estimated cost rose to $1.8 billion. Mr. Bodman said he thought the project had little chance of yielding results. . .

There is no indication that the current effort will fare any better or prove any less costly than FutureGen. However, the promise of billions of dollars in funding means these projects have attracted strong political support.

Technology Drives North American Gas Renaissance: New CERA Analysis

North American natural gas is entering a new era in which supply is no longer constrained, according to a new Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) multiclient study, Rising to the Challenge: A Study of North American Gas Supply to 2018. A revolution in technology has unlocked “unconventional” gas resources, dramatically changing the prospects for the market. Demand, rather than supply, will be the challenge for the market going forward, accentuated currently by the economic crisis.

In Rising to the Challenge, CERA, an IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS) company, has developed its supply outlook based upon detailed analysis of gas fields and then tested it using its North American gas market modeling capabilities to provide a supply analysis at the play level that is integrated with CERA’s market outlook. The study concludes that the North American natural gas market can now be largely supplied by North American gas production.

The main driver of supply growth in the years ahead will undoubtedly be unconventional gas production, which has benefited disproportionately from technology. Domestic gas producers explored a variety of technologies to exploit the known unconventional resource base. The success of these efforts became evident in 2007-2008 when production in the lower 48 United States grew rapidly - from a 2007 low of 49.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in February to 56.7 Bcf/d in July 2008, an increase of 6.9 Bcf/d and almost 14 percent in just 17 months.

CNPC, Sinopec Bid for Venezuela Carabobo Oil Blocks

Venezuela is evaluating bids from two Chinese state oil companies for stakes in Orinoco oil blocks that Caracas is offering up to foreign investors, a person close to the issue said.

China National Petroleum Corp., the nation's top oil and gas producer and the parent of PetroChina Co., and China Petrochemical Corp., or Sinopec Group, have made bids, and these would be discussed in coming days when top Venezuela oil officials visit China, he said. . .

Venezuela's government says the area contains 272 billion barrels of recoverable reserves, and it needs to attract foreign investors to help shoulder the huge financial burden needed to extract the oil -- something Caracas can't do alone at a time of relatively low oil prices and reduced revenues.

StatoilHydro Turns on Taps at Alve Field in Norwegian Sea

The Alve gas and condensate field in the Norwegian Sea started production yesterday afternoon, March 19. Alve is developed as a subsea satellite field tied back to the Norne field's production vessel.

Alve was discovered in 1990. The find led to the discovery of the Norne oil and gas field which was proven in 1992 and brought on stream in 1997.

"Its proximity to Norne made it possible to develop Alve as a satellite field, which resulted in substantial value creation and good utilization of resources," said Anita A Stenhaug, vice president for Norne operations.

"Output from Alve and other finds in the area will extend Norne's lifetime from 2016 to 2021. This will provide more spin-offs for land-based activities in the north of Norway. . .

The quality of the reservoir at Alve is such that one well ensures good production. Expected maximum gas production is roughly four million cubic meters of gas per day.

Recoverable reserves are estimated to be 6.78 billion cubic meters of gas and 8.3 million barrels of condensate.


The 2008 figure included 342 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV), 139 MWTh (thermal equivalent) of solar water heating, 762 MWTh of pool heating and an estimated 21 MW of solar space heating and cooling.


I think it is sad, in light of our increasing water shortages, that so much investment [762 MWTh] went to heating decorative pools and spas, as these are entirely unneeded discretionary purchases.

Also, we have an opposite effect here in my Asphaltistan during the peak heat season: people can flip a valve, then turn on the pool pump to spray water from numerous jets just above the pool surface to help cool it down to a more comfortable level. Thus, they are burning BTUs to evaporate water at an even faster pace.

It is not unknown for some to buy blocks of ice to add to the pool just before their summer pool party gets underway. :(

In Doha, Qatar there is a hotel (Sheraton, if I remember correctly) that actually has a refrigerated pool--keeps it down to a nice, comfortable 80F in the peak of the summer.

Yikes! I guess that cool pool helps people properly stretch & limber up their muscles before they hit the snowy slopes of the indoor ski run.

The indoor ski strip is in Dubai's Mall of the Emirates. Interesting region ha?

Hey Jeff,
not only in Qatar, but also on Sansibar, the resort where I stayed in 2007 also had a cooled swimming pool. This was an island that suffered power cuts on a regular basis as all it's power comes from a hydro plant in Tansania on the main land. Not enough power on the mainland and they cut the island of first. First the beer gets warm and then the pool gets warm.

Funny how westerners go to tropical islands to spend all day in an air conditioned room - pool - resturant.

Exactly some of the nicest resorts in the world started life as a malaria mosquito infested swamp, and without not just energy but very cheap energy will rapidly degenerate back.

I would use the term regenerate, not degenerate.

Swan Pools Leads the Effort in Water Conservation for Swimming Pool Companies

Swan Pools, a leader amongst custom inground pool builders in California, is educating customers on conservation techniques and informing homeowners about the benefits of replacing their lawns with swimming pools. The campaign explains how existing customers can use swimming pool design techniques to save water, while informing prospective customers about the eco-friendliness of pools vs. lawns...

Swan Pools is also striving to inform homeowners with large lawns and landscaping in their backyards about the benefits of a custom inground pool. This lawn replacement campaign will help educate prospective customers on improving their backyard while significantly reducing water usage by replacing lawns with swimming pools. For example, Sacramento swimming pools can use half as much water as a lawn according to the City of Sacramento water analysis. A swimming pool design that uses more walkway and decking areas can reduce total water use to 20 inches per year, while lawn irrigation uses 49 inches per year.

A pool company saying that having a pool uses less water than not having a pool... I suppose the next thing I'll hear is that a company is just too damn big to collapse because of it's own stupid decisions.

Now if the pools were like this:
Add some turtles,frogs, snails, fish, wading birds and maybe if there were enough of them put in they might just change the overall local climate enough to go from drought stricken to more naturally humid therefore providing conditions for permaculture projects. Nah, forget it, that's a really stupid idea...

I have two such small pools and one large one. I keep fish in them and in summer, my alligator snapping turtle lives in the large one. I couldn't afford the water bill if I used city water, so fill them from the irrigation ditch. They were designed for a pump and filter but I use a gravity fed system & one way (downstream) flow thru. The ponds are 36 years old and just this past winter the drain pipe of the large pool froze and cracked. This has never happened before and I'm not sure how to fix it. All my fish died as the water leaked out below the ice. So this year, for the first time, I may not have my big outdoor aquarium. Mac Snap may have to stay indoors all summer.

So how did you get a permit to keep wildlife?

Look at the neighborhoods with huge forclosure rates, the pools are now turning into 1000sqft watering holes, amazing to see how fast left alone nature claims back territory (granted with non-native species, but still.)

Watering holes for mosquito larvae. Not a good by-product of foreclosed homes.

Here is a partial solution:


Gambusia have been used for mosquito control in the US since the early 1900’s. Various agencies throughout the world have developed stocking guidelines for mosquito control in swimming pools (abandoned), ornamental pools, ditches, wetlands, mine pits, storm water and waste water disposal lagoons, natural creeks, animal watering troughs and small seasonal or permanent ponds. Recommended stocking rates in the US range from 15-100 fish for back yard ornamental ponds to 2,500 fish/acre for small ponds and ditches.

A pool company saying that having a pool uses less water than not having a pool.

If the comparison is against bluegrass it is probably true. Of course you could do a lot better with Xeriscaping. And pool filters are major consumers of electricity.

pool filters are major consumers of electricity.

I think this is a case where combination small scale solar and wind might really prove cost effective. At least here where I live in South Florida.

BTW someone here on TOD posted a link to this company not long ago, I found it interesting.


Some more Gazprom/European gas supply stories

Gazprom producing 25% less gas

Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) produced an average of 1.2169 billion cubic meters of gas per day in the week March 17-22, 25.3% less than in the same period last year, the Fuel and Energy Central Dispatch Center said.

Gazprom began this month by producing just over 1.3 bcm per day, lowering this first by 80 million cubic meters and, in the period March 12-17, by another 90 million cubic meters (the later reduction taking place in three phases).

Production averaged at 1.264 bcm per day in the period March 1-22.

NOVATEK (RTS: NVTK) cut output 10 million cubic meters to 83 million cubic meters per day as of March 4 and has been producing that sort of volume since, save for a brief increase to 86 million cubic meters per day between March 12 and 15 inclusive.

Gazprom to eliminate threat of rival EU suppliers

With Gazprom‘s gas exports dropping almost 50 percent since the start of the year, the Russian gas monopoly’s energy swap deal with Iran makes economic and strategic sense.

...Generally, this Russian deal with Iran is much more about Russia- Iranian cooperation development that about any sorts of competition with the other projects, Mitrova said. Asked if the memorandum could help Russia preserve a stranglehold on natural gas exports to the EU by undermining Nabucco, she said, “Russia doesn’t need any special efforts regarding Nabucco.” The Russian economist noted that the financial future of the EU-backed pipeline remained uncertain “due to the absence of gas for it.”

Europe Grapples for a Collective Energy Approach

The January 2009 Ukraine-Russia gas crisis demonstrated the costs of neglecting to develop a viable European Union (EU) energy policy. For the affected countries, the severity and scope of the shut-off was unprecedented in the Post-Communist era. Despite progress in recent years towards greater integration and cooperation in the energy sphere, the EU ultimately failed to provide the most basic of public goods to millions of its citizens: warmth in winter. This failure resulted from an over-reliance on Russian energy supplies, insufficient import alternatives and a lack of the institutional and physical infrastructure necessary to coordinate a European-wide response.

...The absence of a workable energy policy leaves many EU members without an alternative to this type of go-it-alone approach. Countries like Germany and Italy are representative of the trend. As demand for natural gas rises in the coming decades, Berlin and Rome have calculated that they will increasingly need to compete with their neighbors for limited, non-renewable energy resources. If Gazprom’s current decline in natural gas production continues, then direct links to Siberian gas fields could offer a competitive advantage. By avoiding multiple transit countries, Germany and Italy also hope to eliminate the risk of disruptions similar to the recent Ukraine-Russia dispute.

Ukraine needs euro5.5B to upgrade gas pipelines

BRUSSELS (AP) - Ukraine says modernizing its outdated gas pipeline system will cost euro5.5 billion ($7.5 billion).

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says investment will significantly increase gas deliveries to Western Europe. She told a conference Monday that "new pipelines would cost many billions of euros" but that for a fraction of that capacity can be increased.

EU, Ukraine open talks on gas network repairs and reforms

Brussels - The European Union and Ukraine on Monday were set to approve a programme of political reforms which should encourage European players to invest in physical repairs to the former-Soviet state's giant gas network. "Ukraine's gas transit system provides an important physical link between Russia, Ukraine and the EU which is of course crucial to the EU's energy security. This infrastructure is in need of modernization," EU foreign affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero- Waldner said as she opened a conference on upgrading the system.

One fifth of all the natural gas consumed in the EU flows through Ukraine's 13,500-kilometre network of gas pipelines, but experts say that that network will need some 2.5 billion euros (3.4 billion dollars) in investment over the next six years just to keep pipes and pumping stations in running order.

"Today's conference is extremely important for us because Europe's energy security is one of today's challenges which requires an approach based on solidarity and agreement between the EU and Ukraine," Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said.

I agree these issues are a concern, especially with Europe so very dependent on natural gas for both heating and electricity.

Is there any chance the reduced production could be because of reduced demand, partly because of the gas pricing and partly because of the recession?


I don't see any reduced demand other then weather related.

If we are to believe Gazprom then Russian storage is full, Europe doesn't want to pay Gazprom's current price and there's a recession demand drop thus Gazprom has had no choice but to massively slash production.

If we believe Simmons then Russian storage is probably being refilled from a very low level right now and to make the figures balance, Gazprom is actually producing more gas than claimed and refilling storage with the difference. That's just speculation as no public figures appear to be available on Russian gas storage.

Just found this comment from the IEA

IEA: Enough Gas for Now

The International Energy Agency, which has criticized Gazprom for not investing enough in new gas developments, said Friday that the threat of a Russian supply shortage was no longer current.

"This danger has been alleviated now by the effects of the financial crisis and the fall in demand for gas," Tim Gould, the IEA's program manager for the Caspian Sea region and southeastern Europe, told an energy conference in Moscow on Friday. "It remains to be seen whether this is a supply crunch avoided or a supply crunch postponed." (Bloomberg)

By no longer current I wonder if the IEA means for the next 6-9 months now that we're coming out of the european winter.

Do you have the link for the article this graph is from. It's not from your link below the image. I think this is an old chart.

Edit: Ok, I found it at

Russia: A Critical Evaluation of its Natural Gas Resources

Contrary to widely-held beliefs, if current trends continue, Russia will have a severe natural gas shortfall by 2010.

Article is two years old but I suspect that graph is even older and the actual current situation is even worse due to much delayed field development and startup. Will have a closer look later.

Figure 5 in that link holds the key - massive expansion of non- Gazprom gas supplies more than compensate for decline in Gazprom. I think this is where we left the conversation last time around. Gazprom trying to persuade competitors to produce less to protect its market share.

Fig 5 is hard to reconcile with your block quote.

Its a valuable link.

Fig 5 is hard to reconcile with your block quote.

The authors include Fig 5 to show what they say might have been had Russia's Gas fields been totally opened up to foreign companies and investment. Fig 5 is a work of fiction unfortunately - and it probably never was possible in any case.

The only real solution to Russia’s looming financial deficit is foreign investment in Gazprom, but this would strike at the heart of its monopoly, and the Putin government does not want that. It is clear that gas production in Russia might have looked very different had the government encouraged independent producers and investors to get involved with Gazprom.

And now that the IEA has announced that only the financial crisis and demand destruction saved Europe from a disaster this winter... well next winter should be interesting.

"It remains to be seen whether this is a supply crunch avoided or a supply crunch postponed."
--Tim Gould, IEA

Article in yesterdays DB suggested that large volumes of Qatari LNG would ship to NA and this would undercut US domestic E&P due to the low price of the delivered LNG.

It would seem that there are other implications.
1) Qatari LNG will also ship to Europe and displace/reduce demand for Russian supply.
2) Cheap LNG in both NA and Europe may result in reduced demand for KSA oil.
3) Cheap LNG in both NA and Europe plus environmental concerns may result in displacing coal in electricity generation.

Have not seen any analysis of the impacts but based on the DB article it does seem like major changes afoot in western energy markets with major financial impacts on both Russia and OPEC crude suppliers.

I don't think that there is really enough to spread very far. The total amount is pretty small, compared to either US or European use.

Link to chart please - is this a Gazprom forecast - or some one else's forecast for Gazprom?

Where is Bovanenko?

I find it very hard to see the colours - being a bit colour blind.

Based on Gazprom's current projections, devlopment of Bovanenko will provide an additional initial 15bcm/annum in about three years time - and that's assuming all the pipelines and other infrastructure projects are completed on Gazprom's current forecast timecale.

It's also of note that if you believe Gazprom then European gas companies are currently cutting their (sorry our) own throats by shunning Russian gas purchases thus starving Gazprom of the investment required to bring their new fields to market on time.

Also surely "No longer current" implies that the IEA believes that the recent "danger" of a supply shortage was actually very real. Did they say that out loud before this?

Just noticed typo in link to IEA quote in Moscow Times - correct link http://www.moscowtimes.ru/article/1009/42/375560.htm

Robert Smart linked to this Video report on Gazprom down thread. It is about 5 minutes long.

Spot nat gas prices were high throughout Europe until about 3 weeks ago at least. (in the UK about $1 per therm, $0.03 /KWh ).
There were severe shortages at the height of the Ukraine spat in Hungary and some other countries. European stocks are at record low levels overall, but the spot price in the UK has fallen by half.

I guess it is a bit of both. Demand is down, supply is down, the market sees we are over winter peak demand and are holding out before refilling the tanks until as late as possible. Perhaps they don't have the cash...

I also guess Russia can't or does not want to sell. If the customer does not want to pay $1 a therm on the first day of Spring, they will probably pay $2 a therm on the last day of autumn...

No, not in Hungary, but in Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia. In Hungary the shortage was barely felt, it had enough other energy sources to fill the gap (mostly oil).

Would someone help me here on the topic of GW? Last week two people (independently) referenced an article on "new" archeological finds of Viking ruins as Greenland "thaws". I tried to find it on the internet, but all the info I came up with indicated that all the known ruins have been known about for years; the king of Norway and the bishop of the Greenland Dioceses (and Vatican) kept records since the 10th century and I found no new finds recently discoveries. The Danes have been doing archeological work pretty consistantly for the past 60 or so years.

And apparently these ruins were never covered over by ice.

Does anyone know of any recent Viking settlement finds in Greenland? Would you also have references as to what was found, where, when, and by whom?


Oddly, the comment about warmer summers and less ice may be inaccurate. As the Medieval Warming Period progressed the ships from Iceland to Greenland were forced to take longer trips to avoid iceflows that were most probably increased due to warmer weather. That alone probably killed Greenland economically.

I don't know about Viking ruins, but here's the reality in Greenland today:

Greenland fishing villages abandoned as fish are driven to colder water

Sad on two points:

1) As CO2 levels rise so do ocean acid levels. At what point does the acidity kill the creatures involved in the marine photosynthesis process?.. and what does that do for/to us land critters?

2) Amazing how many 'aboriginal' cultures have lost touch (voluntarily and involuntarily) with the land.

The acidity will kill very soon all the shell building organisms, as most of them use calcification to build their shells. Massive death of corals, crustaceans, molluscs, ... might have severe consequences on the food chain. Some theories say that the Permian-Triassic Extinction event (which killed off 90% of species) was in part caused by ocean acidification and global warming.

'Aboriginal' cultures have deforested large amounts of land, killed off many animals (mammoths, moas, elephant birds,....) since the Paleolithic. They only have less impact than us because of their lower numbers and technology.

Yep, all the mega fauna of the Americas was killed off in about 1-2000 years shortly after the end of the last glacial period, using wooden and stone weapons and fire.

The archaelogical site of Gobekli Tepe, possibly the site of the allegorical Garden of Eden, was also a hunter/gather site until the country-side was hunted bare, a few animals domesticated and the beginnings of agriculture started to support the population. Ancient societies didn't lose touch with the earth - they ravaged the land like we do - only on a smaller scale.

There may have been small societies that did practice conservation of resources, but definitely not all...

JHK has a good one today:

"Everything that we're doing right now is engineered to avoid reality, to sustain the unsustainable, to recover the unrecoverable, when the mandate of reality compels us to face our losses in order to move on to the next chapter of a collective American life."


JK apparently hit a nerve - specifically with the paragraph you and Gail highlight. I had copied it and was going to post it here but you both beat me to it.

In a "a society lost in abstractions, long-range daisy chains of off-loaded responsibility, and incessant pleasure-seeking," it makes perfect sense to see the President of the US pandering to the public on late-night talk shows and pseudo-investigative journalism programs.

How long before we see ObamaRama and lil' Timmy guest hosting CNBC's new "Toxic Asset Fire Sale" series?

A rather long but interestingly detailed piece about how socialism for the rich came about on Wall Street:


Both TAE and the Downstreamventures forum had links the other day. It really is a must-read article that anyone can understand. To me, it is the sort of article that could finally get people to breakout their pitchforks and torches.

At the same time, I couldn't help but see how impotent society is to control its destiny. Heck, if the financial sector can't be held in check, why in the world do people believe that these same masters of the universe will "lead" it to a sustainable future. AFAIC, it isn't going to happen. IMO, anyone who isn't preparing now has a bleak future ahead.


Minor edit

We have had a couple of links here also. I recommend it highly.

Great quotes from the article:

"These people need their trips to Baja, their spa treatments, their hand jobs," says an official involved in the AIG bailout, a serious look on his face, apparently not even half-kidding. "They don't function well without them."...

...In essence, Paulson used the bailout to transform the government into a giant bureaucracy of entitled assholedom, one that would socialize "toxic" risks but keep both the profits and the management of the bailed-out firms in private hands. Moreover, this whole process would be done in secret, away from the prying eyes of NASCAR dads, broke-ass liberals who read translations of French novels, subprime mortgage holders and other such financial losers...

...When Stevens asked the GAO about what authority Congress has to monitor the Fed, he got back a letter citing an obscure statute that nobody had ever heard of before: the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950. The relevant section, 31 USC 714(b), dictated that congressional audits of the Federal Reserve may not include "deliberations, decisions and actions on monetary policy matters." The exemption, as Foss notes, "basically includes everything." According to the law, in other words, the Fed simply cannot be audited by Congress. Or by anyone else, for that matter....

...The situation with the first TARP payments grew so absurd that when the Congressional Oversight Panel, charged with monitoring the bailout money, sent a query to Paulson asking how he decided whom to give money to, Treasury responded — and this isn't a joke — by directing the panel to a copy of the TARP application form on its website. Elizabeth Warren, the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, was struck nearly speechless by the response...


I've got a hard copy of that issue of Rolling Stone sitting on my desk here.

On the cover it has two women simulating fellatio together on an ice cream cone... tongues lathered in vanilla...

The article you refer to is listed at the bottom left corner.

Maybe the editors felt soft-porn would draw more attention to the article?

As you described it...

Very artistic.

I wonder where they got the idea

"Phew, a 99! For a moment Tony, I thought you said ..."

Must resist temptation to fire up photoshop on these two images. Must resist....

Their little party probably reminds them of their initiation into the Illuminati.

Or here:

Ice Cream

PLAYBOY used to have some pretty good interviews back in the day-both PENTHOUSE and HUSTLER did some top notch investigative reporting-the public needs sugar with the medicine usually.

The "public"?

PLAYBOY was pretty mainstream at one point-can't debate your point re HUSTLER or PENTHOUSE.

Geithner's Plan "Extremely Dangerous," Economist Galbraith Says ...

"The bad assets are bad because they are worth less than the banks say they are. House prices have dropped by nearly 30% nationwide. That has created something in the neighborhood of $5+ trillion of losses in residential real estate alone (off a peak market value of housing about $20+ trillion). The banks don't want to take their share of those losses because doing so will wipe them out. So they, and Geithner, are doing everything they can to pawn the losses off on the taxpayer."


Mish seems to agree (he mentions Galbraith's article as well as several others who are sounding the alarm).

But Mish is making one big mistake here:

Geithner's Galling (and Dangerous) Plan For Bad Bank Assets

...All Geithner is doing is making the problem worse. Tim Geithner is the most dangerous man in America, and Obama is too blind to see it.


Obama is the "most dangerous man in America." He assembled the team of fools. He pacifies the masses on television.

Obama is their charismatic, ready-for-prime-time Leader who will finish what Bush II started.

Firgureheads come and figureheads go, the dirty little secret not one U.S. president and therfore electorate has had any real say in the shaping of policy fiscal or otherwise in 36 years. Then again think of how much worse things would have been had Bush 43 actually been in control?

Tell me how much worse, please! Obama is continuing the exact same policies of his predecessor. He is doing exactly what Bernanke wants. Geithner was Bernanke's man at the NY Fed and Geithner drafted the AIG bailout docs himself!! How can Obama truthfully say he didn't know that AIG would get bailouts when his own Treasury secretary wrote the documents himself?

Obama is a liar, a shill, a vapid empty headed bozo who can't even speak without a teleprompter constantly in front of his face. Obama took as much money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 3.5 years as Chris Dodd took in 20 years, and Dodd was the #1 recipient of Fannie and Freddie campaign funds. At the rate that Obama was getting Fannie and Freddie money he'd have taken nearly $1 million in 20 years.

Obama is owned lock, stock, and barrel by Wall Street. There is zero difference between Obama and Bush on the issue of the economy. Both of them are bailing out their rich bankster buddies on YOUR back. And you are letting them do it, turning the other cheek, because you buy lies like Bush would have been worse. These are the exact same policies that Bush and Paulson were running!!

Bush and Obama are part of the same tag team. Until people understand this and vote for someone other than one of the big two political parties, we'll continue to get raging morons in the White House.

If you voted for Obama, YOU are part of the problem. If you want to fix it, remove him from office... if you can.

It's true. The American Way of Life is non-negotiable and won't be apologized for, regardless of how unsustainable, damaging to the environment, and insane it may be. We will borrow and spend, craft policy to stimulate more debt, deforest and desertify the nation, poison the atmosphere & surface waters, drive species to extinction, ramp up stressors on the population, continue BAU until the entire rotting ediface of western technocratic civilization comes crumbling down upon us. Then famine & epidemic disease will take their toll until relic populations living in squalor & misery drop out one by one in an inexorable decline to extinction. Those of you who envision some painless transition to some "greener" technocopian version of BAU have my sympathy. Your hearts are in the right place but you reek of denial. The reality of the situation we as a species and the biosphere as a whole face, is far more dire than most can allow themselves to admit. There can be no preparation for a mass extinction event of this magnitude.

Sodom and Gomorrah didn't turn to sand because men slept with men. It's because they were so greedy they cut all their trees down.

There can be no preparation for a mass extinction event of this magnitude.

Thanks for bringing us your daily dose of hope.

"...and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains..." Revelations, 6:12-15

(No, I'm not religious, but hey... Not bad for being written 2,000 years ago.)

My shorthand for what you just outlined is "we will eat the Planet".

We are a "just in time" species, or at least, society. I don't believe our cultural, political, and economic systems are equipped to deal with the planning horizons that are necessary. Especially our economic system.

"we will eat the Planet"

Ironic that you posted this, as just this morning I attended a brief Urban Landscape / Xeriscape council meeting re: the "edible landscape." Seems that some think that eating the landscape is a good idea.

Anyhow, I concur regarding planning horizons. I try to take the long view, and think in terms of ecological or evolutionary, if not geological, time scales. I don't think that the human brain is evolved for thinking in these terms, so doing so requires focus & practice, at least until becoming habituated to it. Most people think in terms of seconds to decades; of human lifetimes at most. What's needed is thinking in terms of the time frames of Milankovitch cycles, or of nutrient element cycling times, or of macroevolutionary trends. Decisions made in reference to such long-term thinking will minimize short-term plunder to the benefit of long-term ecosystem health. You can't have healthy people living in unhealthy ecosystems.

sgage 'We are a "just in time" species'...

A just in time society soon to be a just too late species IMO.

The Species will survive, society, civilization and most individuals will not. One thing we are very good at is adapting, we may end up with 6 million out of 6 billion plus but the species will survive.

You might be correct, but there are many more species on this planet that have had a better run at long term survival than humans. When you say we are good at adapting, in the geologic time frame, I don't think we have really had our species survival tested like some on this planet.


As posted above, I did quite a bit of research on GW this past weekend as a result of some references people told me about. Personally I now think we're headed for about a half a dozen climatic tipping points. When I pointed some of the things I found about GW to the two people I referred to I was told that any adverse effect from GW will happen "long after we're gone." Unfortunately, I think I realized this morning that the horrifying truth is that - if some tipping points are reached - many of us alive today will see the adverse effects quite fully and quite quickly.

So much for my retirement plans....

Thank Goodness that my initial concerns over PO burnt out my brain's anxiety centers....

"The word shock is used differently by the medical community and the general public. The connotation by the public is an intense emotional reaction to a stressful situation or piece of news. Its medical meaning is much different.

Medically, shock is defined as a condition where the tissues in the body don't receive enough oxygen and nutrients to allow the cells to function. This ultimately leads to cellular death, progressing to organ failure and finally, to whole body failure and death."

Breathe deep, the gathering gloom..........

Thank Goodness that my initial concerns over PO burnt out my brain's anxiety centers....

Thank you for the best laugh I've had in days :)

The inverse relationship between dollars and petroleum - which is priced in dollars.

China calls for new reserve currency

China’s central bank on Monday proposed replacing the US dollar as the international reserve currency with a new global system controlled by the International Monetary Fund.

In an essay posted on the People’s Bank of China’s website, Zhou Xiaochuan, the central bank’s governor, said the goal would be to create a reserve currency “that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies”.

Analysts said the proposal was an indication of Beijing’s fears that actions being taken to save the domestic US economy would have a negative impact on China.

The Chinese can complain all they like but there is little alternative to their supporting the dollar by purchasing it. If the dollar declines because of a lack of Chinese support or whatever, they will pay a the gas pump as well as in currency markets.

Last time I checked, oil was priced - rather inexpensively - in dollars.


The WSJ article about the glut of small cars is behind a paywall; I can't read the whole thing. It claims that small cars are sitting unsold on lots in huge numbers. Aren't ALL cars sitting on lots unsold in huge numbers? Haven't we heard that the annual sales rates are at 1980's levels so far?

The article didn't have any numbers for total Days of Supply (all vehicles) at current sales rates, but Honda dealers had 125 Days of Supply of Fit subcompacts, while Toyota dealers had 175 Days of Supply of Yaris subcompacts. Also, 205 days for the Dodge Caliber and 427 days for the Chevrolet Aveo.

It looks like about 79 Days of Supply, all vehicles, which would suggest that SUV and truck inventories are probably below 79 Days of supply:


Continuing your article..
So Much for Small Cars...

"I don't think Americans really like small cars," said Beau Boeckmann, whose family's Galpin Ford in southern California is the country's largest Ford dealer. "They drive them when they think they have to, when gas prices are high. But we're big people and we like big cars."


But hey, at least India is getting their tiny cars.

The World's Cheapest Car Debuts in India

...a six-year quest by Tata Motors, India's largest automaker, to develop a car for the common man costing less than Rs 100,000 (about $2,000), roughly the same price as a motorcycle...

The first thing you notice is that the dashboard holds just two gauges: speedometer and fuel level. This is the basic model, and it's stripped down to the bare essentials. But driving the car is surprisingly easy. The gearshift is smooth, the car accelerates adequately and you never feel cramped or low to the ground. The Nano doesn't feel like a cheap, lightweight car that's going to tip over with the first sudden turn... but running the aircon sapped some of the power of the tiny, two-cylinder engine. Other drawbacks of the car: The storage space is hard to access because the hatchback doesn't open, the brakes aren't progressive, and the car we drove pulled slightly to the left even though there were just 40 km on its odometer.

Those quibbles are unlikely to make a difference to potential buyers. The Nano's target customers are people riding two-wheelers, and for most of them, this is the only car they could hope to buy. Even without spending anything on marketing so far, Tata executives expect demand to far exceed their initial annual production capacity of 45,000 Nanos.

And just FYI: India produces 800,000 barrels of oil daily for around 1.1 Billion people...

The car has A/C? I predict that feature will set off a dramatic change in this market: picture a family spending many a cool evening inside the car with a TV/DVD player placed on the front dash for easy viewing.

Sure beats the heat & humidity of a sweltering house.

A/C is not standard. The car is priced under 2K -- it's like, OMG, what are they thinking. Deliveries start in July!

According to the Wikipedia article, a/c is included with the base model. I can't confirm that on the Nano site as I'm just getting a "site too busy" message.

My original source was from the bbc article but when I read wikipedia still no A/C on the standard:

The car will come in different versions, including one standard and two deluxe models. The deluxe version will have air conditioning, but no power steering. The initial production target set by Tata Motors is 250,000 units per year.

You and the BBC article are correct.

Someone edited the Wikipedia article after I read it and inserted a "not" in "the base model will get a/c". You can check that in the history. However I am now able to get on the manufacturer's site and it confirms that the base model does not have a/c or heater.

Never trust Wikipedia without verifying - which is why I added that I had not been able to confirm it.

Meanwhile, here in the states, we're dreaming of souped-up cop cars...

Cops help dream up high-tech police car

The result is a futuristic prowler with a 300-horsepower clean diesel engine, flashing lights visible from all angles, an ergonomic cockpit, an onboard computer with voice command and instant license plate recognition, integrated shotgun mounts, and more. (Weapons of mass destruction detectors are available as an option -- seriously.)

"The current vehicles that they (police departments) use were designed for driving around, going to the grocery store, taking kids to school -- things like that," Stephens said.

"You don't have an engineer sitting at one of the other automakers who says, 'Y'know, I think what we need to do is we need to take this car, and we need to run into a curb at 50 miles an hour and see how many times it takes before the wheels and the suspension fails on it."

The E7 can go 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, has a top speed of 155 mph and can withstand a 75-mph rear impact, according to the company's Web site. It has bullet-resistant panels in the doors and dash and has push bumpers incorporated into the aluminum frame. The upper flashing lights are integrated into the roof panel, eliminating the need for a bolted-on light bar that causes aerodynamic drag -- reducing fuel economy -- and can lead to rust.

Company officials say the price -- possibly around $50,000 per unit -- will be "competitive" considering the cost of equipping a conventional car for police work and how long each vehicle lasts. The Carbon E7 will be built to last 250,000 miles, compared with 75,000 to 120,000 miles for the typical patrol car, Stephens said.

WOW great car course not very many police departments could afford it. However I know alot of criminal organizations that would pay top dollar and in cash to buy these. :)

And yet, there is still a waiting list to get a Smart for Two car?
An interesting shape seems to be more important than making "another little rounded hockey puck" design?
And most of those "little fuel efficient cars" only get around 30 MPG. People (like me) are waiting for something like 40-50 MPG.
I have a reservation number for a Smart for Two, but the fact that they take premium gas (what a design blunder!) leaves me cold. I don't keep premium gas on the farm - Just regular for the rest of my fleet (more fuel efficient to have a fleet where you can use the right vehicle for the purpose)

Only in the US does the Smart Car use gas. European and Canadian models are diesel. The US ones are about a foot longer and heavier as well. Go USA.

Try this link for a reprint of the car story.

I have a subscription, so when I search in Google, things come up for me that don't come up for others.

The WSJ article about the glut of small cars is behind a paywall;

Tripper, there is a way to read all WSJ articles that are behind a paywall, until they close that loophole anyway. But I have been reading their articles for over two years this way. If you have the title of the article like" Industry's Big Hope for Small Cars Fades then simply bring up http://news.google.com/ then type, or copy and paste, the title into the search window and click "Search News". Guess what? At the very top of items listed will be the complete WSJ article, not just the first few lines.

Ron P.

Maybe that is why I have been confused. I find the article on my pay site. I paste the title into Google, like you say, and it comes back up with the article. That is why I assumed everyone could get it that way. I guess I am doing exactly what you said works, even if you don't have a subscription.

I see the oil prices over at the side of the page are from Friday.

I think that is a Yahoo problem that we can't fix at our end.

For 40,000 applicants?

In January, Schlumberger Ltd. announced it would eliminate up to 1,000 jobs in North America, or about 5 percent of its work force, and was looking at cuts elsewhere globally.

Net jobs: -600

It's not really the jobs, but that Schlumberger must expect increases in NG prices and this is where the action will be.

I posted a link to that article, or something very similar, yesterday. The underlying reason is that Haynesville Shale gas in Louisiana is expanding, while everything else contracts. It seems to be economic, even at today's low prices.

Schlumberger facility to bring 400 new jobs

The Haynesville Shale natural gas deposit played a large role in the company's decision to make the investment here, said Trent Lee, operations manager for Schlumberger.

"The Haynesville Shale is a prolific gas producer," Lee said. "We're making a bigger investment because of the shale."

There are 266 wells permitted to drill in the Haynesville Shale. Forty-four of them are active and producing, according to data from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Of those 44, eight produced from 100 million to more than 700 million cubic feet of natural gas in December.

Schlumberger says another round of layoffs coming


Gail -- based upon those numbers and what I've seen of well costs, that range of production (reduced for royalties) yields payouts between 5 and 22 months based upon $3.50/mcf. Great by anyone's measure. Petrohawk owns the well which produced over 700 million cf in one month. Needless to say they are pushing the hardest. What remains to be seen is if these better wells are in a sweet spot or if those numbers represent a real trend potential.

From the Alternet story on AREVA

After four decades of uranium mining by Areva subsidiaries in the poorer northern region of the country -- at Arlit and Akokan in the Sahara Desert -- the country faces an environmental catastrophe that is destroying the lives and livelihoods of the surrounding communities.

Radioactive dust is everywhere. Water sources -- already scarce in this desert region -- have been depleted and contaminated. Radioactive metals resulting from uranium processing, have been discarded as scrap or sold in the local markets and used by villagers in household items.

But I thought the French were just fissioning Camembert..

SHERPA subsequently found a company doctor who admitted that pulmonary and respiratory illnesses or cancers were never officially diagnosed, because this could harm the company's reputation. One anonymous source told SHERPA that patients with these diseases were told they suffered from malaria and AIDS. Patients who sought a second opinion at the public hospital at Agadez were met with incredulousness by doctors there, who could not understand how their illnesses could have been "missed."

SHERPA found one case of a mine worker with advanced leukemia who was refused health evacuation by SOMAIR and who died on the job at the age of 41 leaving behind five children.

And Africa is having an AIDS crisis.. hmm.

'What could possibly go wrong?'

.. and if Capitalism will sell you the rope to hang it with, then a Developing Country's Cash-hungry government will give you fire-sale prices for the Cluster-bombs to Drop back onto their own kids.

The Niger government, meanwhile, has declared open season on northern Niger, awarding close to 140 prospecting licenses to uranium-mining companies from China, India, Canada, the United States and elsewhere in its efforts to become the world's top exporter of uranium -- it currently ranks fifth.

Forgive them father, even though they know perfectly well what they are doing..

In agreement on your capitalism perspective, Jokuhl except:

Forgive them father, even though they know perfectly well what they are doing..

replace father with Mother, as in earth, life giving, gaia

from a Bumper sticker in my neighborhood;

"My Goddess gave birth to your God."

She should have had an abortion.

"In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams

I think right now my favorite Douglas Adams Quote:

This planet has — or rather had — a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.”
-Douglas Adams, The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

We need to be careful if we choose to call the biosphere "Gaia," or personify "her" in any way. Such personification implies sentience to many people, who may begin taking the "goddess" metaphor literally. The biosphere is a self-organizing set of feedbacks that has "evolved" to accomodate abiotic parameters of the Ocean Planet's chemical composition and position in space relative to the sun, as modified by life processes themselves. As such, it's homeorrhetic or self-regulatory proclivities may give the semblance of intentionality & sentience where no such anthropomorphic characteristics actually operate. So long as people keep in mind that the biosphere is mindless and ateleological, no harm is done by resorting to these mythological allusions. But when people loose sight of the reality and start "worshipping" the biosphere or taking serious the implication that "she" possesses foresight, preferences and will, this is where the trouble begins. The ape tendency to supernaturalize the real world needs to be avoided in any policy decisions that may need to be made regarding the biosphere.

We have evolved the use of story and myth, along with heuristic thought and short term horizons, as successful survival traits.
Unfortunately, they are outdated and dangerous at the moment.
The idea of a mindless algorithm with no guiding purpose is frightening to the human ego.

Actually, the human body is run by "a self-organizing set of feedbacks". And some people believe that humans have sentience. I see no need to discourage these beliefs, if it doesn't hurt anyone.

..some people believe that humans have sentience.

Humans have complex nervous systems for processing the sum total of integration & response we label as "sentience." Plants, microorganisms, ecosystems and planets have no nervous systems or analogs thereof with which sentient behaviors may be processed.

I see no need to discourage these beliefs, if it doesn't hurt anyone.

Agreed, so long as it truly harms no one. But humans have a long sordid history of superstitious thinking causing immense harm. Witness everything from witch burnings to genital mutilation sponsored in the name of supernaturalist/superstitious thinking. I support neither the commodification or entitivication (or whatever the antonym of reification is) of nature.

But humans have a long sordid history of superstitious thinking causing immense harm.

Agreed. Our superstitious trust has given us nuclear weapons, toxic waste, toxic assets, human/biosphere exploitation (externalities) and the promise of eventually transcending these crude, biological limitations. Our obstinate rejection of human thinking in the name of rationality and measurability causes much suffering and destruction. Finally, a point of agreement.

Thank you tch. Excellent point.

The horrible actions committed by some true believers present the worst face of humanity. But it is their certainty that allows them to condone their extreme behavior. The Nazis weren't superstitious but they were certain that eugenics would be beneficial for the future of mankind.

On a planetary scale, an entire large ecosystem (eg. the Amazon) can function as an organ would in our body. Don't be so sure that a human nervous system is more complex than some unidentified planet wide system.

Even if all the interactions that take place in an ecosystem rival the human CNS in complexity, this doesn't mean such a network is evolved to receive input, process that input according to memory, self-interest and intentionality, and devise outcomes accordingly. A fungal mycelial network may underlie several hectares and involve quadrillions of hyphal reticulations, but one would have to be doing 'shrooms to believe that such a structure, complex as it may be, is sentient.

Don't tell that to Terence McKenna... ;-)

Hi darwinsdog,

Thanks for bringing this up.

When you say as you do above:

"As such, it's homeorrhetic or self-regulatory proclivities may give the semblance of intentionality & sentience where no such anthropomorphic characteristics actually operate."

The key phrase here, it seems to me, is "may give the semblance of intentionality and sentience."

Where we may differ is on the point of the determination of the "reality" of "intentionality and sentience" - as opposed to merely the semblance of same.

It seems to me one needs several things here. First, a greater context. What does it mean to have "intention" and to be "sentient"?

Second, we need a test, don't we? What is the test for sentience?

Third, the test itself may be limited.

I'm sure people have discussed and written about this using different words than these.

Sentience may be a function of complexity. How would you know, one way or the other? Would you, the "knower" have to possess more complexity than the complex subject of your investigation?

I also offer this: The characteristics you mention above, such as "memory", may also be a function of some degree of hidden (so to speak) communication within the organism (human, for eg.) in question. Hence, the narrative function.

However, narratives can be interrupted. Trauma can do this, for example. Hence, a human being can have the theoretical capacity for any of the functions you mention: "memory", "self-interest" and "intentionality". Still, these functions may be not working in a particular individual, or even among a group of same.

The Nazis weren't superstitious

On the contrary, all of the top official's in the nazi party including Hilter were obsessed with the occult. There have been many books and more then one hour+ documentary's over the subject. I suggest you go to google and look it up.

Hi DD. I should have expected that, but I demur..


The stern implodes as it sinks, from the pressure, and rips apart from the
force of the current as it falls, landing like a big pile of junk.

(indicating the simulation)

Cool huh?


Thank you for that fine forensic analysis, Mr. Bodine. Of course the
experience of it was somewhat less clinical.

I don't think a bit of impressionism and anthropomorphizing is really at the root of our problems..

" To see a World in a grain of sand,
And Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour. " William Blake

You mean Nature is not a Mother? Boy, you could have fooled me.

Don't anthropomorphise the Earth. She hates that.

...or it's just a rock about 92 million miles from a star.

It seems to me that the darker your skin and the thinner your wallet, the less human you will be treated like.

If you don't beleive me, check out who was left behind in NO after Katrina.

Check out who is the least well off of major ethnic groups.

And, check out who is most likely to be incarcerated.

The latest outrage is that male USA citizens are far more likely to be incarcerated than female USA citizens. Experts are concerned as this is a possible indication of systemic bias against males in the Justice System.

Testosterone tends to do that. And, BTW, that tendency spans race, location, and all other factors.

I have met some very violent women in my short life, I personally do not see one or the other gender being inherently more violent then the other.

Back in my Psych student days, my favorite professor introduced us to some research on the nature of aggression. The finding were as you say, but not exactly. In terms of physical aggression, men are more violent. In terms of emotional aggression, women.

Gee, what a surprise.

The caveat is that you have to include things like passive-aggressiveness, withholding affection, etc., to get this finding.


Yes, but in the USA they don't lock people up for passive-aggressive behaviour. Generally speaking, prison in the USA is reserved for violent crime or drug offenses-your chances of going to prison for non-violent, non drug related crime is very slim, which is probably one of the reasons for the fraud epidemic.

It seems to me that the darker your skin, the more complaining you do.
Discrimination, abuse, poverty, and prison terms happen to people of all races,
but the darker complain more about it instead of learning how to help themselves.

You seem to complain plenty enough.. and I'm sure it's wholly independent of your tannins.

You dont know me but I'm your brother;
I was raised here in this living hell.
You dont know my kind in your world;
Fairly soon the time will tell.
You, telling me the things youre gonna do for me -
I aint blind and I dont like what I think I see

That's just plain racist.

Should the european jews in WW2 have just learned to help themselves as well?

I have suffered from discrimination, abuse, poverty, and I do not complain and blame it on being white. I have not been in prison because I obey the law.
It is all about choices. We seal our fate with the choices we make.
The Jews were victims of war, and that is a different matter.

Have you forgotten that in the USA you could only sit on a bus where you were told until just a few decades ago. Or that in South Africa, apartheid only ended a few years ago? Or that in New Orleans after Katrina, the rich whites got priority over the poor blacks (ref many Alan Drake posts)? Just because one non-white has reached the top doesn't mean total equality.

You said it, you're white and it's no surprise you don't blame poverty on that.

And the jews weren't "victims of war" - they were murdered by a genocidal racist who just happened to be fighting a war at the time.

Woa guys, Nowhere may have simply been sharing an observation of his or her experience. He or she may be racist but even if that is so - who cares? It seems possible to me that the "darker" skinned americans of african descent may have adopted a strategy of dissenting their discontent disproportional to that of "lighter" skinned americans. Now to me this statement is of little relevance to my life and I am certainly not going to try to quantify, qualify or provide any sources whatsoever. But come on, get off your rocking horses and act like adults. This is a serious forum even if it goes off-topic or goes into kookie land. Ad hominem attacks do not progress us closer to truth, understanding or action. And Nowhere, if that wasn't a flame then please choose your wording more carefully next time.

IMHO that is because poor or lower middle class white males in the USA have been convinced that their financial failure is a personal failing or weakness. The MSM puts out a message repeatedly which can be summarized as being white and male is almost a guarantee of financial success in the USA-the reality is so different that it is ludicrous that this is continually repeated.

What I was trying to say is that the more one plays the role of victim, the more one becomes a victim. This has nothing to do with race. I choose not to believe that I am a victim. People of all races face this challenge. White people are not blessed automatically. There are lots of white people who get shafted every day, but it is not reported on the news. Ask someone with a mental health issue if the system is fair to them? They get lower insurance coverage or none at all. Now our credit scores are used to determine if we get a job. We can use these challenges to claim that we are victims, or we can do something to change it rather than just complain about it. Complaining about New Orleans is fruitless.

Do you choose to become a victim of Peak Oil? Or do you choose to take action?

White people are not blessed automatically.

In fact, they are overall. Lppk, you can keep repeating this stuff, but your first comments were racist: people of color complain more.

You got a study to back that up?

What I will agree with is that there is a degree of relativity. In a white-dominated society, the white's will be the oppressing class. In the US, the whites have the advantages over others.

I live in Korea. The oppressing class is full blood Koreans. The oppressed are anyone else, including half-blooded, like my son. One of the reasons we are leaving Korea.

Just to drive the point home, pretty people have advantages over all others, in general. Prettyism?

You can pretend racism and other -isms don't exist if you like, or if you think your personal experience balances out all other racism, but it's a bit of a fantasy you've got going there.

Again, read pedagogy of the oppressed. Life is not so simple as, "If they just pulled themselves up by their bootstraps."


Funny thing is that if he said "white people complain more" nobody would have considered that racist. Hmm, I wonder why that is?

Now to me this statement is of little relevance to my life and I am certainly not going to try to quantify, qualify or provide any sources whatsoever.

Do you realise how that reads?

hehe, my humor often eludes people. Such as being overly "PC" And sometimes its fun to lose readers with my long sentences. Other times its necessary. Or maybe I'm just to lazy to break it all up into smaller bites or ensure that the tone is consistent throughout. I'm certainly not writing a thesis paper. And yes this is actually the way my mind thinks and often how I speak. I prefer writing to speach though since I can increase the accuracy of my statements.

And the above should have said

Now to me that statement is of little relevance to my life and I am certainly not going to try to quantify, qualify or provide any sources for it whatsoever.

:-) okay go ahead and drill me on my grammar.

Try Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

Or, just go somewhere where you are a minority and there's a fair percentage of racists about. It's great fun.

.. and John Dingell, D-MI is saying on C-span right now, that the only problem is the vagaries of our National Will.

and J. Inslee, from Washington is also pushing for Fission, and Cap and Trade.

While I didn't agree with Oilrig Medic's shorthand about Nimbyism as a Democratic trait yesterday, I'm no booster for the party as a whole. Their blindspots are considerable, and this is one I will be working hard to call out. (But I felt the blanket permitting for big CSP in the Mojave could very well be another disaster in the making)

5 children... "cough"

there was a documentary about a plague of rats related to bamboo root cycles, can't remember the name. the researcher was in a village crop and said something along the lines "this is a once in a lifetime event. as i researcher, i want to see the plague with my own eyes, thousands of rats devouring and destroying this field. but as a human, i know that this will mean a very hard year for these families"

i'm kindof like that researcher. i want to see the world burn because of the greed of companies like monsanto or areva and why not be fair, you and me. it would be a wonderful "movie", one that would dwarf all hollywood. but on the other hand... we're acting in it

We definitely are acting in it.. but again to be fair in both directions.. you and I are acting in part, by being HERE at TOD, (and in whatever other ways we act in our lives) which may garner the accusation of being a bunch of mere navel-gazing and theorizing.. but I don't buy that. This is a challenging and a mind-opening conversation, and I'm glad to be part of it.

We could describe ourselves and our lifestyles as 'greedy'.. but I think that is a bit smeared with Protestant (or Jewish, Catholic, Hindi) guilt patterns, too. We have been taught and immersed in a sea of unsupportable and unhealthy habits, and changing these, scraping off that mud bit by bit, while still living in the mudpuddle is a huge bundle of tasks. We can see that we have work to do without necessarily beating ourselves up too much about it.

Untangling the denial, the shame and the exhaustion that comes with recognizing the bad habits is as hard a job as the actual work of changing them.

i want to see the world burn..

It isn't about what any of us want. Some may want to "save" the world, others may want to see it burn, and nature doesn't care. What will happen will be the outcome of decisions and activities people individually and collectively engage in. Typically, these decisions and activities represent the short-term self-interest of individuals and groups wholly ignorant of and unconcerned about the wider ranging consequences of their decisions & activities. Hence, in all likelihood, you will get to see the "world burn," regardless of whether you welcome or dread this outcome. But saying that you want to see it burn strikes me as rather mean spirited.

Premature shaudenfreude is a common ailment of early-stage enlightenment.

Your mispelling gives me little schadenfreude.

i'm not mean :)

if you saw al bartlet's presentation, "the limita of growth", he moved the disasters on the "good side" of the chart, reducing population. things like war, famine, plagues, those keep the population in check

we all die in the end. in absolute numbers, asuming the carrying capacity of the earth is 2 billion people, what would you rather have? 4 billion deaths now or 7 billion deaths in 2050? because there's no way we can keep our numbers and lifestyle.

start thinking long-term

we all die in the end.

Holy craps, you just shattered my world!


How many times have we been told that France is the model of how
nuclear energy can be.

"fraud was pervasive" and "corruption was rife".

"But what intrigued the scientists was that these 'royal' genetic lines were always rare in each colony.

Says Dr Hughes: "The most likely explanation has to be that the ants are deliberately taking steps to avoid detection. If there were too many of one genetic line developing into queens in a single colony, the other ants would notice and might take action against them. So we think the males with these royal genes have evolved to somehow spread their offspring around more colonies and so escape detection. The rarity of the royal lines is actually an evolutionary strategy by the cheats to escape suppression by the altruistic masses that they exploit."


the fatal freedom to exploit the commons.


The taxpayer gets hosed for the remaining $71.25 billion dollars.

This can and will be done if the "sellers" of these assets are allowed to bid either directly or indirectly as it provides a means for banks to intentionally dump bad assets at a certain loss that is much smaller than their expected realized loss over time, shifting the rest of the loss to the taxpayer.

this is the scam.

The real scam, it seems to me, is getting us to start thinking that mere tens of billions of dollars are sort of chump change.

No, we only worry about hundreds of billions now...

Not that it means anything. What the hell is a "dollar" anyway?

It's simply no longer believable. Any failure on their part to close these loopholes can in my view confidently be labeled a criminal act. We're getting into scenario's along the lines of:

"Yes I Had A Gun In My Hand, And I Pointed It At Her, And Yes, I Pulled The Trigger, But I Had No Idea There Was A Bullet In The Gun, Even Though I Checked It Two Minutes Before, So I’ll Have To Plead Innocent And I Fully Expect To Be Aquitted".

That story works real good if you own the cops, DA and judge.

I was just posting notes here from Ilargi,
Dan W, and now, here for the PM, Mish:

I remembered the FDIC wanting $500 Billion (and then
dropping into the either). And then Bair just saying
FDIC goes to zero w/o fees (yesterday?):

Mish-Now We Know

Now we know the true purpose of that $500 billion. The intent never was to "rebuild its fund that insures consumers' deposits".

The intent all along was to swindle taxpayers to the tune of $500 billion dollars. Rest assured this will not be temporary. It is a permanent swindle. Is there any taxpayer swindle that Senator Dodd is not part of?

Just a BTW-this is it for Alt Energy projects.

The Middle and poorer classes are being wiped out
here. The Alt Energy proposal is no energy for them.

That number was just a case study of
a $10o billion lot, I believe.

And the 3-5% the corp/hedgie puts up
could get tax treatment.

the long term prospects for recovery are zero.

I still think we're closer to S&P 450 by MayDay.

Brute force and entrapment into an irredeemable
fiat currency within a failing Empire.

Sounds like a Sith Lord script, eh?

"How many times have we been told that France is the model of how
nuclear energy can be."

Too bad the posters above missed the significance of the article jokuhl was refering to.

This week's PBS's NOVA has a show documenting the melting glaciers throughout the World.

Yesterday's fishwrap Chicago Tribune weather page espoused solar activity and global cooling "only time will tell" commentary; too many Skillings, not enough Heidi Cullens.

Electric bills are rising fast!

My current bill rate went up 23% in one month!
It was due to "rise in costs of wholesale power".
I think it is tied to the money needed for the
new nuclear plants that are being built.

One hopes the nuclear supply will really be there when the new expensive plant comes online. I put some links on this and other nuclear issues in the March 22 Drumbeat.

Also, in the March 22 Drumbeat, I linked to an article about a nuclear plant being forced to add funds to its decommissioning fund that had been set up earlier. These funds are bonds or other investments. To the extent that the general market has problems, these funds are affected like any other investments. It is not clear the funds will be there when the time for decommissioning comes around.

As the economy deteriorates routine maintenance at nuke plants will be neglected, corrosion & infrastructure deterioration will accumulate, problems will be dealt with in haphazard manner until the plants go Chernobyl or simply can't be operated anymore, at which time they will be abandoned. There will be no decommissioning. They will remain radioactive life inimical ruins for tens of thousands of years to come. Monuments to the hubristic stupidity of the late Anthropus ecocidus.

I think you'd be more worried about gunshots from the rival tribe than the magic evil ruins across the hill.

"I think you'd be more worried about gunshots from the rival tribe than the magic evil ruins across the hill."

Or possibly arrow shots.

This is the main reason that I am against building new nuclear power stations. The funds for decommissioning them safely will be worthless paper long before the the stations are due for decommissioning. We will be so far past the net energy peak that society will not have the spare energy to decommission the plants. They will be left to rot in situ, like so many soviet nuclear submarines, waiting for nature to slowly disperse their long lived radio nucleotides far and wide.

In the grand scheme of things, it will not make that much difference, but for the people who suffer birth defects and early deaths from cancer, it will be seen as the punishment of a cruel and unknowable god, because of some past misdemeanor. Maybe the strange domes and towers will be worshipped and feared in equal measure.

(sorry to be melodramatic )

To put my post in some sort of context, some years ago I was walking through a small wood in the grounds of an 18C English mansion, where some of my friends were renting an apartment at peppercorn rates. I was mildly surprised to encounter several patches of completely bare earth, about 50 feet across, each surrounded by a 10 foot high fence with skull and crossbones signs attached. It turns out these were chemical weapons dumps left over from WW2 from a nearby USAF airfield (the one Glen Miller took off from when he was lost, presumed shot down). After 50+ years NOTHING would grow in that contaminated earth. I hate to think what is happening to the local water courses.

That airfield is now closed, and currently used as a car park for unsalable SUVs. I expect very few people realise today that chemical weapons were in production and stockpiled during WW2 ready for retaliation in the event that Germany used their stocks. As the sites are more or less open access, how long before local kids start digging for treasure where X marks the spot?

This is the main reason that I am against building new nuclear power stations.

Its not a bad reason. But given man can not build any machine that does not fail and man's willingness to attack other men - both of these features are not good for fission power.

But hey, when someone with a 'let it all burn' opts to sabotage a fission plant or another one is attacked by the weapons of war - man's inhumanity to man will be demonstrated yet again.

Man can't operate the plants within the requested safety parameters - why should mankind be trusted with MORE of 'em?

To me its rather funny how opinion has changed about nuclear power. A few years ago I thought it was a good idea along with presumably many of you. I don't remember the exact comments but I do remember more support here for NE on the oildrum. What got me to re-evaluate NE was the book "The world without us" by Alan Weisman. I had never really considered how collapsing civilization would affect or rather not affect nuclear plants. It's beyond scary if a fast crash occurs and we don't safely dismantle and adequately dispose of radioactive material.

The completely ironic part is how the green movement is beginning to embrace the notion while us peaksters (of whom many are engineers) who initially considered it necessary now think that it might be one of the worst possible actions. Maybe it was just me that was or is misinformed but it might be too late to put the cat back in the bag on this one.

There has been a great trumpeting about a FEW environmentalists who have become very Pro-nuclear, such as the founder of Earth Day (??Name) .. but it's been pointed out that he was a booster since very early on. As our environmental impacts have revealed themselves, I think the 'Double-edged Sword' of that technology has not really won over many informed environmentalists.


How many trees per year need to be cut down to provide the same amount of energy as one fission reactor?

In my opinion, any environmentalist that doesn't support nuclear power wholeheartedly hasn't thought the situation through all the way.

Did you read my initial post above?

There is a lot of 'All the way' thinking that the Nuclear Industry doesn't want ANYONE to do.

Beyond that, I would never propose to burn enough trees to match the output of a Reactor.. depending on that level of baseload while as consumers refusing to be resilient against variability, either in watts or in price.. that is the short-term thinking that we must outgrow.

Drink a nice clean glass of public water (depending upon your community), and be grateful that there are environmentalists who have been annoyingly pushing their 'shortsighted' causes 'Wholeheartedly' for a couple generations. You'd miss it if it wasn't there.

Alternatives to nuclear power:

1. Coal. Cheap fuel, installed base, waste products that make all non-fuel-rod nuclear waste look like the princess's laundry. Responsible for CO2, particulate, sulfur, and heavy metal pollution over wide areas. Primary point source for air and water pollutants.

2. Natural gas. Another cheap fuel, but supply and price are widely variable. Competes with home heating in northern areas. CO2 pollution contributes to global warming.

3. Wind. Kills birds and stuff...

4. Hydro. Destroys river ecologies.

5. Biomass. Competes with food crops for farming time and space, or involves cutting down *lots* of trees and destroying mature ecosystems.

There is no way to win, you see.

Well actually the dieoff of homo sapiens could be considered a victory for 99.999% of species.

The last existing individuals of endangered species "protected" in zoos would certainly perish but might also consider it a victory for justice.

Certainly most rumenoids would welcome the change of predators.

Agricultural organisms would consist of the dissenting minority along with some strains of bacteria, yeast and algae.


That nulear plant is in my state, Vermont Yankee. The powers that be want it to stay running for an extra 20 years even though it is one of the oldest in the country. Major issue in state legislature. About $300 million in the fund now, down from over $400 mil. Estimated cost for decommissioning is about $900 mil. Who knows how much it will actually cost 60 years from now which is when they are planning to do the actual work. The company doesn't want to put in any more money. Majority in the legislature wants more money or no new license. Governor (Obama's only Republican friend) wants BAU. An air of unreality about the whole thing. Who in their right mind...???

The 9-11-01 hijackers could have just as well targeted the Indian Point reactors on the Hudson rather then the WTC & Pentagon. Don't think they didn't consider doing so. But bin Laden wanted a symbolic target at the time, instead of going for the throat. Had the IP reactor containment vessels been ruptured by the impact, 30 million people including myself as I was living on Long Island at the time, would have been irradiated. Next time, the gloves come off. If for no other reason than the threat of terrorism, fission driven generation of electricity is stupid. If we can't shut the monstrosities down at the very least better live upwind from them.

The hijackers could have targeted reactors, but they didn't. They probably did the best that they could to "go for the throat", but probably realized that Indian Point was a difficult target to hit, and much more resistant to damage than many other more accessible targets. Terrorists would not want to miss or bounce off their target, that would surely brand them as incompetent.

The reactor containment buildings are big, but not like skyscrapers. Trying to hit one would be more like the strike on the Pentagon than on the WTC. Recall that the jet that hit the Pentagon struck the ground first. This would be the likely case for a reactor attack, and would result in a wrecked jet outside of an unpenetrated containment.

Due to natural radioactivity, 6,000 million people everywhere on Earth are being irradiated every day. This is part of the same radioactivity that keeps the core of the Earth molten and that powers continental drift and erupting volcanoes. For the vast majority of people, exposure due to man-made radioactive elements or radiation devices is only a fraction of the what they would get if we didn't have any nuclear power at all.

In the immediate aftermath of 9-11 the media declared unequivocally that the reactor containment vessels could have withstood the impact of a fully fueled 767. In the days that followed it was admitted that no one knew whether or not they would have withstood the impact. Eventually it was admitted that they would have definitely ruptured upon direct impact, releasing radiation. In other words, the media lied, or repeated the lies fed them by the "authorities," presumably to prevent public panic or outrage.

Natural background radiation contributes to the mutation rate, which is an overall good thing for populations over time, altho usually bad for the individual mutant. Earth's internal heat from isotopes decaying down their series, that produces the convective plumes in the mantle that drive crustal plate movement, is only about 1/8 what it was in the early Hadean. Were Earth the size of Mars this heat would be largly gone by now, and tectonic activity virtually nonexistant.

Reactor containment vessels have been designed with 9/11 style attacks in mind with the largest planes of their day (that would be a 747 for most of the time such things were being built).

Of course, since nobody has ever publicly performed such an attack, "nobody knows" if the design was sufficient.

And of course, despite such precautions "nobody could have predicted" that somebody would consider using a civilian aircraft as a weapon in such a manner.

The 9-11-01 hijackers could have just as well targeted the Indian Point reactors on the Hudson rather then the WTC & Pentagon.

Simulating such an incident is now required for new nuclear designs. I don't know when the requirement came about -clearly not when Indian Point was designed.

In view of the likely hyper inflation we will be getting in a few years, what we now consider expensive capital expenditures will appear much less so in the future. In a world where fossil fuel supplies are down to half of what they are now, electrical power that is much less dependent on fossil fuel inputs will seem much more valuable than it is now.

I think we all see that forward planning that depends on financial investments is suspect going forward. Many regulations, not just the ones related to nuclear power, are turning out to be too short sighted to address the long term nature of the issues the regs are trying to manage. In my opinion, nuclear power, by its nature, is forcing people to consider the long term, well outside of the conventional short term comfort zone. My feeling is that much of the antipathy directed towards nuclear power is redirected anger originating from the discomfort of having to seriously consider actions and consequences well outside the usual five year plan. My hope is that our society will become more accustomed to taking a longer view.

My feeling is that much of the antipathy directed towards nuclear power is redirected anger originating from the discomfort of having to seriously consider actions and consequences well outside the usual five year plan.

Antipathy against nuclear power has several sources:

1. We need small-scale decentralized power generation facilities controlled by the people. Not large-scale centralized facilities with their attendant bureaucracies. Nuclear energy epitomizes centralized control.

2. Uranium mining is a filthy business. To this day there are dangerous tailings piles from uranium mines in the Chuska Mountains behind Sanostee, NM, that are eroding into watersheds. In the 1950s uneducated Navajos were hired to work in the mines, without being informed of the dangers involved. These men are all long since dead, mostly from leukemia & other cancers.

3. No one knows what to do with spent nuclear fuel. Perhaps spent fuel rods can be reprocessed or buried safely but after all these decades disposal still hasn't been figured out.

4. Something as complex as a nuclear powerplant is inherently prone to unpredictable problems. The more that can go wrong will go wrong. Accidents at nuclear facilities are likely to be catastrophic, as Chernobyl and Three Mile Island demonstrate.

5. If the capacity to enrich uranium to fuel grade exists, it's just a step up to enriching it further to weapons grade. The proliferation of nuclear power generation can not be separated from nuclear weapons proliferation.

6. Reactors in and under the world's ocean are inherently unsafe. The prospects of horrendous nuclear pollution from an accident with a nuclear propulsion system at sea makes reactors aboard ships & submarines an especially stupid idea.

7. Nuclear powerplants make splendid targets for 9-11 style terrorist attacks. Had the 9-11 hijackers hit the Indian Point facility on the Hudson River rather than the World Trade Centers, the consequences would have been orders of magnitude more dire.

8. Peak uranium will have to someday be faced, just as surely as we are facing peak petroleum production today.

9. Ionizing radiation is simply life inimical. A sane species would shun this technology.

Peak uranium will have to someday be faced, just as surely as we are facing peak petroleum production today.

Utterly meaningless.

So after all the items in that list, this is the one you take him up on? Good thing for the industry that they aren't charged for any of the social costs of mining, or the peak would have been long past.

(And great list, DD.)

The monopoly issue is my lead complaint, but there are SO many others close behind, it doesn't get lonely.

So after all the items in that list, this is the one you take him up on?

Sure, its absolutely meaningless. The rest are either poorly understood or not even wrong, like ionizing radiation being bad for life. There is no way that nuclear power faces any sort of a fuel shortage. Theres just too much uranium around, and at $100/lb thats an energy cost of around $1/bbl.

Theres just too much uranium around

Uranium is no different to oil or any other mined resource, they ALL peak at some stage - the size of the reserves has nothing to do with peaking of the flow rate - the cost of producing the flow and the consumer being able to afford the price is what causes peaking.

Most of the world doesn't have nuclear power today - the reason? - because they can't afford it!

Exactly. We would could probably install solar panels on all houses cheaper than we can build new nuclear plants. Then we would have peak silicon or peak metals.
Ultimately we will have to use a mix of power resources, to keep from hitting the next wall.

Uranium is no different to oil or any other mined resource, they ALL peak at some stage - the size of the reserves has nothing to do with peaking of the flow rate - the cost of producing the flow and the consumer being able to afford the price is what causes peaking.

No kidding. And when you look at the price of uranium, its production cost, and its impact on nuclear power, you'll realize that the whole concept of peak uranium is meaningless. You run up against other limits like waste heat saturation from multiplying our power use by 10,000 times before uranium becomes so costly that nuclear is uncompetitive. Uranium isn't now nor will it ever be a limit in nuclear power production.

The costs of nuclear power are wrapped up in other infrastructure. I'm not saying there aren't limits and obstacles for nuclear power, but uranium supply just isn't it.


"Nuclear power plants make splendid targets for 9-11 style terrorist attacks. Had the 9-11 hijackers hit the Indian Point facility on the Hudson River rather than the World Trade Centers, the consequences would have been orders of magnitude more dire."

Compare the number killed by catastrophic, "as Chernobyl and Three Mile Island" accidents (56 direct deaths, maybe hundred early death from cancer?) and World Trade Center attacks(3,000 direct) or yearly coal mine deaths(>100,000). Considering that Chernobyl was a runaway reactor explosion, the type worst type of accident that was suppose to wipe out a city, deaths and radiation damage were severe but hardly "catastrophic" even for the Ukraine.
A plain crashing into a NON graphic moderated operating reactor would be much less severe.

This list is more an example of people's response to an initial antipathy leading to a disproportionate risk aversion.

1. We need small-scale decentralized power generation facilities controlled by the people.
Not large-scale centralized facilities with their attendant bureaucracies. Nuclear energy epitomizes centralized control.

Some people distrust large and monopolistic organizations with a large impact on their well-being, like power companies. As a consequence, they are willing to generate their own power, though this will be a more expensive, less reliable, and much more personally dangerous alternative,

2. Uranium mining is a filthy business. To this day there are dangerous tailings piles from uranium mines in
the Chuska Mountains behind Sanostee, NM, that are eroding into watersheds. In the 1950s uneducated Navajos were hired to work in the mines, without being informed of the dangers involved. These men are all long since dead, mostly from leukemia & other cancers.

Mining has traditionally been a dirty business, and many people have died in and out of coal and metal mines due to accidents or slow poisoning.
Standards for mining have improved so that the poisoning risk is much lower now.
There are forms of mining with lower risks, like in situ leaching.

3. No one knows what to do with spent nuclear fuel. Perhaps spent fuel rods can be reprocessed or buried safely but after all these decades disposal still hasn't been figured out.

We do know what to do, but disproportionate risk aversion would require us to manage waste until it was less radioactive than the original uranium ore.

4. Something as complex as a nuclear powerplant is inherently prone to unpredictable problems.
The more that can go wrong will go wrong. Accidents at nuclear facilities are likely to be catastrophic, as Chernobyl and Three Mile Island demonstrate.

Disproportionate risk aversion focuses on the dozens killed at Chernobyl (no one was killed at the Three Mile Island catastrophy) while
ignoring tens of thousands of deaths caused every year by coal-based air pollution. It also ignores the entirely predictable but unavoidable dangers of mundane activity, like getting killed by a "widow maker" while gathering firewood in the forest.
We are going to be seeing alot more firewood related deaths in the near future.

5. If the capacity to enrich uranium to fuel grade exists, it's just a step up to enriching it further to weapons grade.
The proliferation of nuclear power generation can not be separated from nuclear weapons proliferation.

We could have a few designated international enrichment plants that would be run and watched by everyone, and that would provide processed fuel for national power plants. So we can definitely separate nuclear power and nuclear weapons if we want to.

6. Reactors in and under the world's ocean are inherently unsafe. The prospects of horrendous nuclear pollution
from an accident with a nuclear propulsion system at sea makes reactors aboard ships & submarines an especially stupid idea.

After many bomb tests in the 1940's and 1950's, releasing tons of plutonium into the air and ocean, and several accidents with sunken bombs and nuclear submarines, nuclear pollution in the ocean has had a negligible effect. If we dumped all of the nuclear waste in existence into the deep ocean, it would only raise the level of background radiation in the ocean by a few percent. Since a person can raise his level of background radiation by 100% just by moving from Miami to Denver, with no ill effects, this worst case nuclear contamination of the oceans is probably not significant.

7. Nuclear powerplants make splendid targets for 9-11 style terrorist attacks. Had the 9-11 hijackers hit
the Indian Point facility on the Hudson River rather than the World Trade Centers, the consequences would have been orders of magnitude more dire.

Nuclear power plants look like splendid targets because risk aversion magnifies them. Actually, they are much smaller than the WTC,
and somewhat smaller than the Pentagon, so it would take a much better pilot than Atta was to even collide with a containment building. The containment is also much stronger than a skyscraper or the Pentagon. I have not seen any scenario where a jet could get through the containment and then reach the core, which is within a couple more concrete shells. Just getting through the containment is doubtful.

8. Peak uranium will have to someday be faced, just as surely as we are facing peak petroleum production today.

True, but the hope is that we will have learned something about not squandering legacy resources by then, probably in a few hundred years.

9. Ionizing radiation is simply life inimical. A sane species would shun this technology.

Disproportionate risk aversion equates any amount of radiation with danger. There are no studies that conclusively show low level radiation is a risk.
There are actually some environmental studies that strongly suggest a risk from too low an exposure to radiation. There are studies that definitely show that the current Linear No Threshold model is not correct for low levels of radiation. Since the LNT model is used as the basis for radiation exposure regulations, we are probably actually increasing risk for illnesses like cancer by over zealously mitigating exposure to radon and other radioactive materials.
Ionizing radiation is part of our environment, and always has been. Risk aversion focuses on the small nuclear power based component of radiation
in the environment. It forgets about the natural background radiation and the considerable variance in that natural background. Journalists traveled to TMI to report on the release of radioactivity, not realizing that by flying at altitude, they have been exposed to more radiation than the people living across the street from the plant.

"Standards for mining have improved so that the poisoning risk is much lower now."

You didn't look at the article, then, did you? Because clearly, the standards and all the other junk is just getting swept under Africa's rugs instead of our own.

Your response is full of strawmen.. but it's a dead thread, so hardly worth putting time into now..

but this one was classic..

"..As a consequence, they are willing to generate their own power, though this will be a more expensive, less reliable, and much more personally dangerous alternative,.."

Alt energy pays back for itself, and has multiple financial and security benefits during a crisis, blackout, storm etc.. so 'More Expensive' is simply the upfront perception, not the real cost, and certainly not the social or environmental costs.. 'Less reliable' .. having a diversified range of sources is going to be more reliable in the long run.. especially if you have a complex source far away, depending on a complex fuel cycle and a complex grid structure. and personal Danger? Yes, people fall off their rooftops, and windmills have fallen here and there.. but as the saying goes..

John Hammond: "When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked."

Ian: "Yeah, but John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists."

Your interest in my reading habits, and this "dead thread" is flattering, but why the ad hominem tone now? I thought we were doing fairly well here. I infer you must have some impulse to get in the last word. Or maybe that is me? :-)

Africa is a huge problem for all of us, though we generally like to forget about it, since it is thousands of miles away and most of us can easily disassociate ourselves from the people there. I feel that we owe Africa much for the centuries of exploitation of its people, animals, and mineral resources, exploitation that continues. I also know from first hand experience that it may be the hardest thing in this world for us to actually help these people really improve their situation. I did read the article and recognized the pattern of exploitation. The real issues are bigger than the hazards of uranium mining, and I feel that the antinuclear activist author (Gunter) was a bit too wrapped up in her agenda to adequately address these real issues.

More expensive means that 100,000 solar arrays, wind generators, and their power storage and power conditioning equipment is going to use more metal and concrete than the single large power plant they might replace. We are lately hearing more about centralized alternative energy now anyway, large solar and wind farms. I think this makes sense.

A distributed system taken as a whole may be less likely to totally fail, but since the residential demand is also distributed, individuals are going to experience more shortages and outages than with our current system.

Agricultural farming is and has long been a dangerous occupation. It seems likely to me that power farming, residential solar and wind, has the potential (pun) to be similarly dangerous. I anticipate a boom in the market for automatic emergency defibrillators (AEDs).

Generally speaking, new power plants are not added to the rate base until they're brought online, but Florida is an exception. There could be others as well; I know the Georgia Legislature recently passed a bill to allow "construction work in progress" charges, and given the high capital cost of nuclear power and the extended construction schedules, the desire of utilities to pass along these costs as they go is understandable. It helps utility consumers as well, in that it gives them a bit of a "heads up" as to what they can expect and thereby plan accordingly (e.g., opt for a 16 or 18 SEER CAC as opposed to a base model).


Not to be ignorant but, what new nuclear power plants are being built? When I say "Being built" I mean actual construction earth moving and concrete pouring, not site surveys and licensing approvals.

According to this list, none.

See: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/reactors.html


In Georgia, Georgia Power is building on to plant Vogtle at the Savannah River near Augusta, and they received approval to charge the customers up front 7 years before it is completed!


... they received approval to charge the customers up front 7 years before it is completed!

In case there's any confusion, Southern is charging only the interest costs on the funds that it will borrow to build this plant. As your link indicates, this will lower the final cost of the project in that the utility will not need to borrow additional monies to pay these interest costs, which is the normal industry practice.


Check out this by Gordon Brown (fearless leader of the UK)


"I believe that this updated strategy, recognised by our allies to be world-leading in its wide-ranging nature, leaves us better prepared and strengthened in our ability to ensure all peace-loving people of this country can live normally, with confidence and free from fear."

Mmmm. Maybe better focus on the UK NG prospects.

Do also read through some of the comments, like "
Nice try. But as your mate, Bill Clinton, would have said, "It's the economy, stupid!"
Please don't try to distract us from the massive economic mess you have created."


"While not dismissing the lunatic character of the group referred to, I would have thought the more pressing security issue is the riots that will take place this summer as a result of your fiscal incompetence, Mr Brown."


Get the bastards captain gordo!!
BTW, You wont need to snoop in my bins or install government spyware in my computer to aide you in your fight against terrorism do you?"


"You have mortgaged the future of our children and grandchildren to bail out your banker mates to prop up an economic model that is unsustainable.
You have failed our country, you have failed the party, you are a tin pot dictator."

"But I believe that the phenomenon we are observing is something different: we need a word that describes the artifacts generated in response to irrational actors who demand to be fooled. As the old saying goes, “A fool and his money are soon parted” – at the fool's own insistence, no less! If the deer comes out of the forest and walks up to the hunter, it is not proper hunting, and this is not proper con artistry or grift or embezzlement or any other term we use to describe proper works of evil. If the victim, at the site of the economic predator, goes into doggie submission, we must stop discussing the phenomenon in terms of conflict and consider whether what we are observing might be some strange instance of symbiosis."


I luvz me my Orlov, but this post is farking brilliant.

I second the motion. I hope people will scroll down to watch the 11-minute video with Dmitry and Marina Portnaya of Russia Today.

Fifth explosion rocks Mount Redoubt volcano

The AVO staff also warned authorities at the Drift River Oil Terminal -- on the western shore of Cook Inlet downriver from the volcano -- that mud flows and flooding from melting glaciers might be headed their way. At a short 3 a.m. press conference today John Powers of AVO said given the hot material landing on snow, mud and snow slides could be expected and staff would check the Drift River area at first light today.

Protective dikes have been constructed at the terminal since Redoubt last erupted in 1989.

Ash clouds also interfering with air travel to and from Anchorage, AK.

Yeah, lots of planes grounded but still no ash falling where I live 40 miles north of anchorage. Estimates are that intermittent eruptions could last weeks or months. In my observations government officials prefer to stay as far from personal liability as possible so I expect this to create significant inefficiencies and headaches for those needing to travel by air. However, its always possible that a big eruption could occur. It could be kinda fun even if the dust does take a few years of my so called "life expectancy".

Note the absence of eruption photos in the media.

Somehow, the stock market seems to like the current version of the toxic asset plan. Some articles from before the plan came out weren't so complimentary.

Financial Policy Despair (Paul Krugman)

Over the weekend The Times and other newspapers reported leaked details about the Obama administration’s bank rescue plan, which is to be officially released this week. If the reports are correct, Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, has persuaded President Obama to recycle Bush administration policy — specifically, the “cash for trash” plan proposed, then abandoned, six months ago by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. . .

But the Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn’t really about letting markets work. It’s just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets.

This is today's WSJ version of the plan, from a yahoo link:

Treasury Unveils Toxic-Asset Plan, Citing 'Acute Pressure' on Banks

The new program has two parts. It will address both the legacy loans banks are holding on their balance sheets and the legacy securities backed by mortgage-related debt clogging the balance sheets of financial firms.

Under the legacy loan program, investment funds will be created to purchase pools of assets. Treasury will provide 50% of the equity capital for each fund while private managers retain control of asset management subject to FDIC oversight. Treasury said it will approve up to five asset managers "with a demonstrated track record of purchasing legacy assets," but it might consider adding more managers depending on the quality of applications received. To be pre-qualifed as a fund manager, the manager must submit an application to Treasury by April 10.

The asset managers won't be subject to executive compensation requirements that have come into focus in recent weeks after American International Group Inc. sparked a public outcry by paying out $165 million in retention bonuses to top executives. . .

Under the legacy securities program, non-recourse loans will be made available to investors to fund purchases of legacy securitization assets. Eligible assets are expected to include certain non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities that were originally rated triple-A and outstanding commercial mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities that are rated triple-A.

This still looks like one-way bets to me, with the banks employees involved able to make big bonuses.

OK, a little quibble.
I know it's common vernacular, but is it really that accurate to say that the Stock Market 'Likes' something? Maybe the Market just thinks it can make a buck on it.. some friend!

(and DD, if you want to toss a William Blake poem at me for that, I'm sure I deserve it!)


(and DD, if you want to toss a William Blake poem at me for that, I'm sure I deserve it!)

"...What the hammer, what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
---Blake's "Tiger"

Natural selection forging a felid predator with superb receptor, integrator (brain), effector coordination. Apparently written before the widespread introduction of British rifles in India.

Well, you offered, & this was just what came to mind...

Fair's fair.

Domesticated Superpredator
(but I do have my imaginary can-opener, and I'm not afraid to use it!)

Yep, all the high economic priests are now holding their versions of freshly plucked hearts up to the Sun in the hopes of inducing rain.

I suggest they start thinking of postPeak Real Assets such as my speculative 'Federal Reserve Banks of I-NPK', Strategic Reserves of wheelbarrows & bicycles, and SpiderWebRiding to help support Alan Drake's RR & TOD plus full-on O-NPK Recycling.

Sadly, much of the public is frothing at the mouth to buy the latest Camaro SS, so they can SchutzStaffel [which literally means 'protective squadron'] en masse and at max speed into Olduvai:

Roll your own 2010 Camaro

General Motors has its hands full building out the first 14,000 pre-ordered Camaros for the next several months, but if just have to have that new muscle car and you aren't one of the lucky horde, don't despair...

What does camaro mean?

The car's name was contrived with no meaning, Chevrolet researchers found the word in a French dictionary as slang for "friend".
Wasn't Brutus a brutal friend too?

Electric NASCAR in 2015 - really?

"Imagine a sun-swept Texas afternoon in 2015. After the roar of a ceremonial
flyover, a Texas Motor Speedway crowd of 200,000 rises to its feet in
anticipation of NASCAR's signature moment.

The celeb du jour grabs the microphone and bellows, "Gentlemen, start your

As the fans join in a full-throated cheer, 43 of the world's best drivers reach
down and press a button. What follows is unprecedented: pin-dropping silence,
save for 43 small clicks."


That got an honest chuckle..

"43 small clicks" .. rhymes with ~

Thanks for the Carstration!

Thnks, Jmy!


This was on the sidebar... TOTONEILA, you HAVE to check this out!~ Stereo Spiderwebbing!


I sent the following proposal to my local chamber of commerce .....


Solar/Human/Hybrid Rail Car Drags

Human and Human hybrid

Categories ....

1,2,4 people

Classes ...

Pumpers (traditional)

Rowers .... variation of this ...



Hybrids ... allowing 1.5 HP electric/solar/bio fuel assist

Solar only

A handcar, in case you're among those who haven't yet tuned in to the emerging phenomenon, is a vehicle left over from the early days of the railroad, a small platform on wheels that moves along a track under human power. Propelled by a seesaw mechanism attached to a gearing system, a handcar can achieve speeds in excess of twenty-five miles an hour on a flat track.

Nowadays, handcars are built especially for racing.(1000-foot path) Four pumpers ride on the car, which starts the race from a dead stop. This would mean an excruciatingly slow start if it weren't for the fifth member of the team, the pusher. The pusher crouches down behind the car, bracing his (or her) feet against a railroad tie. When the race begins, the pusher, hands on the end of the car, thrusts it forward and belly flops onto the tracks, where a foam mat is placed to prevent injury. The pumpers take the car across the finish line as fast as they can, after which a designated team member stamps on the brake. And that's a handcar race. It's simple. It's fun. It's exhilarating.

various classes of this .....


As of 3:13 p.m. EDST, stocks in NY up 5% (386 points on the Dow) with the news of the 1 trillion dollar buyout of the toxic stuff.


And the cost of a barrel of crude is keeping pace at $53 and rising. (See above NYMEX - Crude up sharply as stock markets rally )

Methinks there's not much room for elasticity in oil prices. Once demand recovers, the sky is the limit.

$200/barrel anyone?

Those bulls never can figure out that the guy is holding a sword behind that red cape. . .

When this bull sees the red cape his thoughts turn to Superman, not the Matador. What's more, the sword is being reserved for the US taxpayer.

I don't have a direct link, but didn't someone post that the biggest rallies/declines have been within the last two year and between 1929 - 1933?

Such energy behind the mirage.

How's this for memory lane? It was less than a year ago that the headline spoke, Surging Oil Alarms Wall Street, June 9th, 2008: http://www.usatoday.com/money/markets/2008-06-08-stocks-oil_N.htm

Alas, what tangled webs we weave?

Some people win lotteries or horse races, too. I would not recommend either those or the stock market as a long term investment. If you have money to burn and want to play with it, well I guess whatever suits your fancy.

Do remember, though, that the stock market is always just one black swan away from catastrophe. Keeping your money in the stock market is a lot like being a fish living in a blender with the switch in the "off" position - for the moment.

"...a lot like being a fish living in a blender with the switch in the "off" position - for the moment."

that is quite possibly the lamest metaphor ever.

But it does make you want to consume a nice tall glass of liquid refreshment from a Bass-O-Matic.


Mmmm... great bass!

Those were the days ;-)

Even better is to enjoy your Bassomatic refreshment while being serenaded by a tune from Big Mouth Billy Bass. That is savoring American consumer culture to its fullest.

I've said this countless times, but I'm convinced much of the electricity we consume is needlessly wasted and that if we were to focus our attention on end-use efficiency, we wouldn't need to build another coal or nuclear power plant for the foreseeable future.

Here's one more example to illustrate this point. We're wrapping up work on another elementary school. The gymnasium at this school was illuminated with forty-two F96T12 high output fixtures; prior to the upgrade, each fixture used 227-watts, for a total load of 9,534-watts. We cleaned and retrofitted these fixtures with high efficiency T8s and ISL electronic ballasts, which gets us down to 3,990-watts. Even though demand was cut by more than half, light levels increased from 23 to 35 FC.

The school's lighting load prior to the upgrade was estimated to be 65.9 kW; today, it's 29.6 kW -- a 36.3 kW reduction. The utility's cost per kW saved is less than $1,000.00 CDN (~ $800.00 US). By comparison, nuclear power would be three to four times more costly.

The school has a 24.0 kW electric water heater and a circulation loop that runs 24x7 (same scenario as the last school we worked on).

Tomorrow, we're installing a timer that will lock out its operation during normal school hours; the tank will recharge overnight when electricity demand is low and the circulation pump will run for five-minute intervals each hour between 09h00 and 16h00, Monday through Friday. This will reduce the school's demand by more than a third and save the Board an estimated $4,227.26/year at current rates (in addition to the demand savings of just over $9.00 per kW, 57,600 kWh/year in energy usage will be shifted to the lower-cost second tier due to their improved load factor). Here, the cost per kW saved is less than $20.00 CDN. The Board likely has another fifty or more of these water heaters within its district and province-wide you could probably multiple that number by ten.

One other thing... note that the copper plumbing lines you see are un-insulated and are, in fact, hot to the touch. The circulation pump pushes this hot water throughout the entire school 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, which means that much of the energy used to heat this water is simply lost as it constantly travels through the pipes. The timer control will cut that runtime by 98 per cent, which in turn reduces these standby losses dramatically.


Well done, Paul.
(Might be a chance for some skylights in that gym, too?) just a thought..


Thanks, Bob. Skylights are a great idea and I'm sure the kids would appreciate it. I popped-in to a big box retailer the other day and they had installed a number of skylights subsequent to my previous visit; the transformation was remarkable and it really did make for a more pleasurable shopping experience (there's something very calming about natural daylight).

Addendum: I stumble upon these large capacity electric water heaters all the time. I once found a 120-gallon, 45.0 kW, 347-volt water heater tucked inside a janitor's closet serving two small executive washrooms. At one time it had also supplied hot water to the plant cafeteria located directly below, but at some point they had closed down their kitchen, replacing it with a wall of vending machines, so only two little hand sinks remained. NSP currently charges $9.034 per kW of demand, per month, so the demand charges for this 45.0 kW electric water heater are $4,878.36/year. In addition, their first 200 kWh per kW of demand, per month, are charged at a higher rate, so they are paying a further $3,047.76/year in higher energy costs, due to this more costly first tier premium. At a minimum, that's $7,926.12/year, upon which you add the cost of actual usage plus the standby losses.

When I brought this to their attention and explained how much they could save if they replaced it with a small, 1.5 kW, 120-volt unit, they just shrugged their shoulders and basically told me to mind my own damn business.


Hey Paul!

I had to chuckle at that story. I made a proposal to a large gas plant to install a peak demand monitor (with alarms and progressive shedding outputs). The immediate reset of the demand ratchet was over 10 times the value of the controller system and the peak was IIRC about 6 times the average demand. There was no short term historical data of demand trends, which my system would have provided to assess potential savings. The response was, "We can't fit it into our capital budget this year. Maybe next year." I replied "So, you have to wait until next year to make money?"

And yet, economists, that have a prediction success rate no better than flipping a coin are the seers of our time. No wonder PO and ACC have an uphill climb.

Words fail me.



Hi Bob,

Another one of those dreaded Dilbert moment when you question whether you're the only sane person in the room. What many of these folks don't realize is that a $10,000.00 savings in utility costs is the equivalent of $30,000.00 to $50,000.00 in added sales, depending upon the business's profit margins. Likewise, when we pay our own utility bills, we're paying with after tax dollars, so that $100.00 payment represents perhaps $150.00+ in personal earnings.


Hi Paul.

Too, true, too true.

Armed with case histories and spreadsheet programs, the most common stone wall I hit was "There is nothing we can shed.". I finally gave up and made money working for the dark side, (Oil and Gas controls).

Might be a good time to switch hats.



Totally agree. Walking through the empty parking lot behind a local K-Mart I counted over a dozen light poles. Each pole had, as I recall, four pods of two lights. I'm guessing each light was 500W or maybe 1kw. All told they had well over 50kW lighting up an empty lot. I think it wouldn't be hard to shut down a few GW here in California. Far cheaper than building a new power plant of any design.

When all the parking lot lights and street lights are turned off you better be packn.

Video report on Gazprom. Not sure if you can get it from outside Australia. Includes claimed Russian saying: "The future is always bright, only the past is uncertain".

Unrelatedly, one of my dreams is that we get the world's best and brightest thinking about our energy/transport problems. They don't come any better or brighter than Terry Tao. Learn about Sailing into the wind, or faster than the wind.

Gazprom link works in US. I am going to mention it above, where they are discussing Russian gas.


You may find these information useful:
At the Middle East Oil Show in Bahrain a Sr. VP at Saudi Aramco, while giving and up-beat talk about future capacity and reserves, for the first time showed the Khursaniya, Abu Hadriya and Fadhili complex with a capacity of 250 kbpd, rather than the 500 kbpd reported since 2007. Aramco executives and engineers each gave their take on reasons behind the delays. Some said that the projects were planned to be a two-stage start up all along, while others said that the primary contractors Bechtel and CCC had faced major engineering failures on the project’s gas processing side.


Thanks for that!

Aramco said that Khursaniyah NGL was supposed to add about 300 kbd capacity but now the IEA Feb OMR says that total NGL production in 2009 is supposed to be the same as in 2007. So it appears that Khursaniyah NGL will be adding no production addition for 2009.

My estimate for the total crude URR of Khursaniyah, Abu Hadriya and Fadhili is about 5 Gb. Cumulative production to date is about 1.8 Gb (IHS 2004, Rand 1975 and Simmons 2005), leaving remaining URR of about 3 Gb. 250 kbd represents an annual extraction rate of about 3 % which seems low but not unreasonable given that the remaining oil would probably be much harder to extract than the first oil.

250 kbd might be a little low but is probably much closer to the true production capacity of AFK than the claimed 500 kbd. I suppose Khurais will have a much lower production capacity than the claimed 1,200 kbd, perhaps 800 kbd.

Eventually, the truth will come out from Aramco.

Linked on Drudge: China calls for new reserve currency


In an essay posted on the People’s Bank of China’s website, Zhou Xiaochuan, the central bank’s governor, said the goal would be to create a reserve currency “that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies”.

Analysts said the proposal was an indication of Beijing’s fears that actions being taken to save the domestic US economy would have a negative impact on China.

“This is a clear sign that China, as the largest holder of US dollar financial assets, is concerned about the potential inflationary risk of the US Federal Reserve printing money,” said Qu Hongbin, chief China economist for HSBC.

But here's what they told Wall St:

Investing in U.S. Treasury bills is "an important component part of China's foreign currency reserve investments," People's Bank of China Vice Governor Hu Xiaolian said at a news conference on Monday.


So how much longer will they play the game?
Peter Schiff said on his weekly podcast that its better to get out of the dollar now than run the risk of getting caught later when you can't sell them.

One of the reasons for the run-up in the stock market today may be the favorable year on year comparison of oil consumption by China that was released today. Morgan Downey provided this graph showing year on year oil production percentage changes for China and US.

Chinese consumption for February 2009 is up 0.5% over February 2008. This favorable comparison to some extent reflects the fact the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration fell in January this year and February last year, which distorts the comparison somewhat.

To me, the jury is out on whether US oil consumption has stopped dropping. EIA weekly estimates tend not to be very good estimates of consumption, once proper exports and other adjustments have been recorded. (See this post, and data in chart below.) My best guess is that US consumption has not stopped declining, although if you compare this year's weekly estimates with last year's monthly estimates, one can get the impression that the decline in consumption has pretty much stopped.

Whats important in my opinion about the US oil consumption is the rate that it changes at.

I'd argue that a rate of change of less than +/-1% is probably both within the error of the data and small enough not to have a large effect if global oil exports decline at a rate of say 5% or higher. It could shift the rate at which we approach problems out say 6 months at most more like 3 months.

I don't think declining consumption with low oil prices is going to be a big factor going forward and declining consumption in the high priced regime is probably even more inelastic given the economic contraction.

Whats interesting is given the constant interventions we now have in the economy makes it ever more inefficient as excess capacity thats not needed is maintained. This excess extends from real estate to bankers to auto workers. The problem is if we do enter a high oil priced regime the pressure will mount to optimize the economy this will really cause a lot of problems with the current economic stimulus models.

Eventually of course I suspect we will see the government actions only resulted in introducing gross inefficiencies into the system no real growth resulted. If I'm right they will effectively be forced to pull back or more realistically continued intervention simply results in higher oil prices.

What this does is put ever more pressure on housing costs esp rents which is the next area thats going to be hit. Renters generally can't last long skipping rent payments. Rising oil prices will force more and more renters to reduce what they spend on rent no matter what landlords ask. Generally this means renting a smaller cheaper place a room etc. Needless to say this coming collapse of rents will effectively kill the mortgage market as you rapidly loose people buying homes for rentals and more and more former rental property is foreclosed on. Generally a lot of rental property is bought with at least some sort of down payment. This means that the discounted price on foreclosed former rentals can be lower than your owner occupied dwellings. Eventually of course this next stage of the housing crash leads to ever more job losses and finally eventually governments will be forced to cut back and downsize.

All the way through this whole scenario we have a persistent high unemployment rate my guess is 15-20% with many many people taking large wage cuts but despite all of this oil usage will remain surprisingly high and the decline rate low. Again it takes just as much oil to drive to the office as it does to McDonalds to flip burgers. Certainly a increasing number of people will begin to adapt to lower their energy usage but given the lack of infrastructure for public transport many people will have a hard time changing. So going forward I really think that changes in what people are willing to spend on rent will determine the future price of oil. If I'm right and people generally work to lower their rent costs first and transportation costs second then we will stay in a high oil price and relatively high usage level until further reduction in rents no longer make a big impact.

As and example almost anyone paying 2000 a month can find a place for 1000 for someone paying 1000 they can find a place for 500 for someone paying 500 say 300. As you drop below this level further changes in rent quickly lose any real gain vs other expenses.

In all these cases assuming the average fuel use is 500 miles a month at 20 mpg you get 25 gallons. At 3 dollars a gallon thats 75 dollars a month at 5 thats 125 at 10 that 250.
Only in the case of the person paying 500 a month for rent moving to 300 do we have a case that reducing rent payments no longer covers for rising fuel costs. Food costs would also rise so we can assume that 500 or less a month represents a sort of bottom limit where downsizing your living conditions no longer pays off.

As rents themselves fall this reducing of the amount you pay for rent does not always translate in to a significantly lower quality home or apt. So even as this happens on average the renters will probably downsize but they also won't be lowering the quality of the house or apt as much as overall rental rates themselves fall.

As you can see with this example if my assumptions are correct real demand drops from high oil prices result only when the median rent falls below 500 dollars a month and gasoline prices rise into the 5-10 dollar range.

Here is a link to rental rates

2000 to about 1000 is common I'm speculating that rents will drop 50% over the next year or two.

The linked article gives a overall median of $673 this suggest we have room to drop.


This gives a median of $571 median for 1990.


Whats esp important is that unadjusted for inflation rents in 1980 had a median of about 300 dollars. I'm assuming that obviously rents will be deflated regardless any attempt to inflate.

Dropping the median rent below 300 would be difficult as to many rentals would simply not generate sufficient income at that point. Thus a 50% drop in rents is not unreasonable assuming high oil prices effecting food and gasoline prices. Overall this is effectively saying if we have high oil prices we will see the housing price bubble roll back to about 1980 using this logic.

Whats amazing is this matches perfectly with when the housing bubble began to obviously take off in the first place.

If we look at crowding.


The level of crowded households shows a mixed picture over time. Occupied housing units with more than one person per room are considered crowded. The rate of crowding declined from 1940 (20 percent) to 1980 (4.5 percent); it rose slightly in 1990 (4.9 percent), and rose again in 2000 (5.7 percent) (see graph).

Since 1940 represents the end of the depression we obviously have plenty of room to crowd together if need to lower housing costs. Given the over building recently I seriously doubt that much crowding will be required before falling rents balance out the ability of people to crowd together if needed. So a 50-60% drop in rents is quite feasible. And this nicely covers a good bit of rising living costs for renters.

For people that own their homes outright or have small mortgages this is not and issue either. Rising fuel costs are really only a big issue for people that both spend more than 3X of their income on mortgages and the mortgage itself is about 1000 a month or higher.


Here we find in 2006 that the average mortgage was $1,687

And here


According to 2002, US Census Bureau data housing characteristics vary considerably with income. For homeowners with middle-range household incomes, ranging from $40,000 to $60,000, the median home value was $112,000, while the median size was 1,700 square feet

This is for 2000 but median income has not moved outside this range while home prices have doubled.

Off a loan calculator trying to backtrack making assumptions about downpayments I get a home value of 200-250k as plausible for a median mortgage of about 1600.

A loan amount of about 80k would drop the payments down to 622 more inline with the 200 numbers and inline with rents.

Next if you deflate wages of home owners by 20% then you move the median income to 32-48k inline with a mortgage of around 80-100k. I can't find a median wage for renters but found this.


And just doing a bit of math 10 dollars and hour would be more than enough to rent a 500 dollar a month apt even if food and gasoline cost 500 a month. Thats about 20k a year.

So overall I see absolutely no reason we cannot roll our housing costs back to 1980's levels to absorb rising fuel costs. Only once we reach this level is serious conservation required.

So to really get the same effect as the 1980's oil shocks it seems we will see a two stage process first with housing costs rolling back to affordability and only then serious conservation in the face of high prices. I don't think it will result in low prices but we can see a cap starting to form in the 10-15 dollar a gallon range as the ability to increase cash flow by lowering housing costs starts to hit bottom and the only choice is conservation which finally will mediate overall fuel usage.

Obviously now looking at the various efforts to save the economy we can see that they should fail and I'm giving this a resulting 20% drop in median wage. Minimum wage will probably actually finally work as intended putting a sort of floor in on the bottom for the most part.

Now as you pass this point more people will work under the table for less than minimum wage taxes continue to fall and you move into and economy closer to third world with cash transaction increasing dramatically. It seems like we will sort of sit at this level for a while as infrastructure deteriorates.

Given that housing has declined at a 20% rate yearly and we can expect this to moderate as it approaches old affordability standards this is the recovery then high oil price model we should hit it within say two years. My model that oil prices will recover rapidly has us simply going strait down into the high price regime with no moderation thus over the next two years I would say we would using the high price because of depletion model see housing fall 50% and oil prices in the 200-500 a barrel range. This would mean that oil would have to hit at least 100 dollars this year to force us into a effectively no recovery situation.

So it looks like two things my happen oil prices could moderate at 70 or so a barrel for a year or two leading to a partial recovery then a oil price induced nose dive or not.

Thus I really think how supply and demand plays out this year might be important since a low oil price and slowing of the fall in home prices and signs of a recovery by the end of this year would I assume extend at least into 2010 and my model would then activate in about 2011. It activates effectively immediately if we see oil prices climb to 100 or higher this year.

Now the actual price of oil will be dependent on three things the rate we devalue the dollar the rate that depletion effects happen and of course my assumption that demand will be flat as long as housing is expensive. Its interesting that we have a bit of a catch 22 going on.
If we devalue the dollar helping push oil prices towards 100 this will ensure that housing continues to fall forcing housing costs down to cope with higher oil prices keeping demand relatively high sending oil prices higher and forcing us to devalue the dollar more.

My opinion is we are already stuck in this cycle right now and its starting to play out.

Thanks memmel...now all I need do is find a strong rope to hang myself. Actually I appreciate the scenarios you build. What seems to me to be very unpredictable is the interplay between all the Federal policies being pushed thru right now and the status of the real world out there. Depending on one's assumptions of this interplay a wide range of results seem valid. The biggest "what if" would seem to be those unintended consequences? I'll accept for the moment that the gov't is actually taken actions which they truly believe will help the economy. But this brings back to mind the terrible days of 18% prime rates, 15% mortgages, 12% inflation and high unemployment of the late 70's. Being a mere pup back then I paid no attention to how Fed policies might have brought about this particular melt down or, perhaps made it less severe. All I really remember is Ford’s “WIN” buttons (Whip Inflation Now). I have a faint memory that others laid the blame on the gov't for such unintended consequences. Can you offer a comparison? Perhaps it's apples and oranges. But I wonder how many folks in the gov't anticipated the potential for the melt down caused by the sub prime stupidly which they pushed as a means to grow the economy. A rather horrific unintended consequence by anyone's measure IMO.

A major difference from the 70s is that the workforce had a very high unionized %. Many workers received extremely high YOY pay increases, often linked to the published inflation rate (which was more accurate at the time). Today, most unionized workers are in government jobs-the fed can print money, but state and local guv workers depend on tax revenue from the private economy which is stretched pretty thin (CA is a good example).

Good point Brian. But not only union workers. Here in Houston during the oil boom you would take another job down the street if you didn't get at least a 10% raise from your current employer. Obviouly one reason we were running at good 12% to 15% inflation on local housing prices. Otherwise how stupid would it have been to take a 16% mortgage to buy a place? BTW...I knew many folks who did just that.

But in the big picture I would think it took more then just union pay raises to generate the circumstances back them. A component for sure but probably not close to the whole picture IMHO.

I used to repeatedly post the same post to Mish asking him to address interest rates whithout high interest rates for debt its difficult in my opinion to trigger a wage/price spiral.

Whats different now for the 1970's is we are in a debt deflation collapse. This means debts are being defaulted on. Almost all the money lost so far has been in the form of book value for loans and future cash flows often as you know priced using NPV methods. Further more the bulk of the losses are in the long end of the loan again primarily 30 year mortgages. Certainly we are now seeing loans default across the spectrum but even here in general the loan was generally some sort of short term paper that was rolled repeatedly. A rolling loan as you know gathers no loss. On the real economy side we see classic deflation effects in the form of massive overcapacity caused by the loan bubble. This is being pulled back regardless of what the Fed does in the form of the end of growth and downsizing at companies.

This of course leads to persistent high unemployment which will put a downward pressure on wages regardless of what the Fed does to induce inflation. Given peak oil we expect that at the minimum if the Fed managed to inflate and cause full employment and created a wage price spiral oil prices would go through the roof resulting in a vicious commodity price increase faster than wages.

Overall the chances of a repeat of the 1970's are slim. Someone posted this link.

I'd say Britain is the best model we have for the US today. However understand that we have already done everything that Britain did to get out if its depression short of global war and we are just at the start of ours.

As you can see from the UK example running the printing presses if you will has a varied effect helping some and not others. Given our current structure with the wealthy well versed in dealing with inflation and capable of concentrating 90% of the wealth under and inflationary environment I'd argue the chances of much money trickling down are slim to none.

So from the big picture what I see is what I call rich mans inflation poor mans deflation.
Money is injected only into the largest most powerful institutions at the moment its simply being obliterated as its used to right off debts or more correctly transfer these debts to the government. This transfer of printed money will probably continue into the foreseable future.

I'd say that the next stage of the game is that at some point these same banks will offer to buy the assets back from the Government at pennies on the dollar surprisingly it seems no one has thought about who the buyer will eventually be for toxic assets. I'd suggest over time as banks learn the real market value of these assets and markets reform any value will be bought back at a fraction of the original price. The majority has no value.

As we move into this stage I expect many of our large banks and business to be broken up and stripped of assets by the survivor banks GS etc. Instead of diluting the banking system in my opinion the result will be a few maybe just one mega bank.

Now at the moment the Fed is printing money to buy treasuries this money is then used by the Government to buy toxic assets along with treasury purchases primarily by other central banks esp China. Once all the toxic assets are safely on the Governments balance sheet I believe that the Fed now setting on trillions in treasuries will reverse the process and become a aggressive net seller of treasuries forcing other CB's to also sell.

That sentence is in effect the real financial Armageddon we face. If I'm correct and this happens it will force up interest rates on treasuries and the Feds will also start increasing borrowing costs from the Fed itself. Thus interest rates will start increasing before we have any real recovery the common man is still stuck in deflation of assets and from peak oil rising commodity prices. At this point borrowing costs will begin to rise sharply depressing asset prices that must be purchased with debt even lower.

Because its rich mans inflation its primary form will be high interest rates and low asset prices and expensive borrowing terms for the common man and his government.

At this point the federal government is now at the mercy of the fed its sitting on trillions in toxic assets the wealthy are only offering pennies and its borrowing costs are through the roof it probably will increase taxes but this only further slows economic growth. The wealthy will ensure that they don't get punitive taxes.

All the way through this great game nothing really changed for common people the only positive is at some point interest paid for savings accounts might increase somewhat.
My opinion is this side effect is not unwelcome since the banks still want to sell assets they bought for pennies for a few dimes and they at this point want people to pay cash.
A slight increase in interest rates for savings followed by a requirement for substantial cash down payments and high interest rates on the remaining balance would fit their needs.
Effectively they are selling worthless assets taking the deposits in exchange along with a high interest rate loan. What your talking about at this point is basically simple loan sharks. People forget that loan sharks are themselves hard money lenders they don't do fractional banking. Since the banks now own any asset of value free and clear for nothing I'm claiming they will practice hard money lending they simply don't need fractional banking any more.

At this point the common man finally gets to experience real monetary deflation as the amount of cash in circulation shrinks rapidly first by the Federal reserve dumping treasuries soaking up the cash it previously printed and next by banks converting assets they effectively got for free to cash.

What people see on the street is Depression style deflation first as debt are defaulted on then as the money supply becomes constrained. Wage price spirals will not happen because money never makes it out of the wealthy class all they do is play a series of booking games to clean up their book and leave the Government with crippling debt quite similar to Japan in this case.

Why do I believe this will happen because the Feds know that all fiat currencies die via hyperinflation in the end by stripping the government of the ability to print money via buying trillions in treasuries the Federal Reserve blocks the ability of the US government to inflate without abolishing the Federal Reserve itself and taking control of the money supply.

They know this and the power of the banks rests in Fiat currencies they must take control of these currencies from the national government and this in my opinion means that they will be forced to return to non-fractional banking and and austerity program in a sense. Effectively what they are doing is setting it up so the Governments are now borrowing in a currency they don't control. Probably only after they finish this will the CB's themselves merge into a world bank and a single currency.

The common man is of course screwed all the way down by the CB's and eventually probably from extreme attempts at taxation that also fail. Obviously once the Feds are done dumping treasuries and the interest rate is sky high the banks themselves will then buy treasuries again at ruinous rates forced the governments to pay out a bulk of their tax revenue in the form of interest.

At some point along this curve the various banks will buy up everything all companies commercial real estate everything and resale it amongst themselves and their cronies.
Certainly we will have a false economy as what are effectively front banks and front companies buy and sell assets between each other but no new wealth is entering the system at the top its purely extractive.

And again the common man really sees none of this except at some point interest rates will begin to rise along with commodity prices and he gets a meager increase in interest paid on his savings account. A lot of people don't realize that this scenario actually wipes out most of the lower level of the wealth class or upper tier of the middle class these are the people that generally will lose the most. Their mini mansions will have no value their stocks are worthless their commercial and residential real estate and small business wiped out etc. The lower rungs that had no money before simply have no money afterwards.
This upper middle class has already lost 50% of its wealth at least and will see more lost over the next several years.

At the economic level this is obviously predicting a massive consolidation in banking and all forms of businesses. The banks will effectively take control of mega-corps and together they will stomp out any small business to survive. They become a sort of complete economic system.

So to close this long tirade obviously the central banks understand how fiat currencies and fractional banking work to preserve and consolidate power they need only eliminate fractional reserve lending for a fairly short period of time. Once they do two things remove all bad assets of their books and onto the government and then remove fractional reserve lending they control the world.

The governments of the world are rightly concerned that the banks are not lending but they won't lend they have no intention of lending via fractional banking for the foreseeable future.

The game is laid out actually on Mish's site.


The feds fully intend to sell into a high interest environment but the key is the net created money is now sitting in bank vaults around the world and the debt is sitting on the government books and they effectively now have perpetual debt with rising interest rates viola the government is technically bankrupt can't borrow and the Fed wins.